Commerce ministers of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) held an extraordinary virtual meeting to discuss the economic impact of the outbreak of coronavirus (COVID-19), citing the role of their ministries to guarantee the provision and flow of basic and necessary commodities to citizens and residents in their countries, assist the private sector to enable it fulfill its role in the economy amid the current extraordinary circumstances and assess the developments as well as the precautionary measures being implemented by the GCC countries to curb the epidemic.
The meeting was headed by the Minister of Economy of the United Arab Emirates Eng. Sultan bin Saeed Al-Mansouri in the attendance of his GCC counterparts in addition to the GCC Secretary General Dr. Nayef bin Falah Al-Hajraf.
During the meeting, the ministers of commerce reviewed the recommendations submitted by the undersecretaries of their ministries of commerce, focusing on the importance of cooperation to guarantee the flow of basic goods and commodities to citizens and residents in the GCC countries, got informed of the precautionary measures being taken by their countries to prevent the spread of the disease and reviewed the urgent initiatives taken by the GCC countries to provide support for the private sector, particularly the small and medium enterprises as well as the economic activities affected by the epidemic.
The ministers underscored the importance of goods smooth flow among the GCC countries so that no contradiction could take place between measures allowing goods to move and precautionary measures barring humans from moving as both measures constitute a common goal to curb the epidemic. They also asserted the importance of keeping their airports, sea ports and land exits open to transport commodities among the GCC countries.
The ministers formed a task team from their ministries to coordinate with each other in an endeavor to follow up and eradicate any obstacle that might face the flow of goods among the GCC countries.