posted on 21/06/2002: 242 views
Once the GCC uniform customs tariff comes into effect and the Gulf becomes one free market place only the fittest would survive - although Gulf investors would be given protection through a strong anti-dumping law, according to a top Omani government official.
"We are determined to protect our industries with an anti-dumping law," said Ali bin Masoud Al Sunaidi, undersecretary at Oman's Ministry of Commerce and Industry. He spoke to Gulf News on the sidelines of a meeting of the Industries undersecretaries from GCC states at the Al Ghubra Guesthouse in Muscat.
He further clarified that some of the complaints were not exactly dumping issues. But, he added: "there are also problems of specifications and inferior products are floating around in the (GCC) market." Al Sunaidi cautioned not to mix the issues of 'dumping' and flooding the market with inferior products.
But he assured that the anti-dumping law would look at a product manufactured and sold at a lower value than its production cost. Al Sunaidi insisted that products coming from outside the GCC would have to stick to the specifications laid out in the region. "Our markets are governed by good specification laws whereby any goods sold within the GCC countries here goes by the minimum standard we specify to our own industries to adhere to," he pointed out.
Thus if an industry in a GCC state sticks to certain specification then it is understood that the governments here would expect outsiders also to follow the guidelines and not flood the market with goods lower than the specified standards. "We would protect our industries from dumping, otherwise they will all have to compete under the free market policy," he said.
"They will have to be at a par with what the others do," he clarified. "We want to see a common tariff and goods flowing between the GCC countries without any problem." Talking about the positive impact of the common tariff, Al Sunaidi said: "It will be a greater market, there will be a easier flow of goods between the GCC countries and one would have to deal with less paper work."
Of course he added: "Only stronger ones would survive. "It's going to be GCC vs. others. "Within the GCC we will have to gradually reach a situation where goods flow without any problem. Companies will have to be competitive in the GCC rather than competitive in their respective countries like Oman, UAE, Saudi Arabia etc… this is very crucial," he added. He advised industries in the GCC countries to understand the fact that once a greater market was in place, it would be an advantage. "It would hold great potential for the country." (The Gulf News)
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