FINANCIAL NEWS

GCC set to abolish steel import duty

09 May 2010

(MENAFN) Finance ministers from the six-member Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) are poised to examine a proposed measure of scrapping a 5 percent import duty within one to two months, Reuters reported.

Gulf Arab countries plan to abolish the import duty in order to ease a supply strain that has been mostly felt in Saudi Arabia, an official from the GCC secretariat said.

The official pointed out that there is consensus among GCC members about the duty proposal. He said that it would be approved without any problem but it would probably take a month or two to be implemented and get effective.

After a relative stillness, steel demand started surging in the second half of 2009 in Saudi Arabia, fuelled mainly by huge government spending on infrastructure to diversify the economy and counter the effects of the global economic slump.

It is worth mentioning that Saudi Arabia and the five other Gulf Arab countries including Qatar have formed a GCC customs union which imposes a common external tariff for products imported from outside their bloc.

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