Saudi Arabia changes import rules from Gulf in challenge to UAE
Written by crest887fm on July 6, 2021
Saudi Arabia has amended its rules on imports from other Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries to exclude goods made in free zones or using Israeli input from preferential tariff concessions – in a challenge to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) as the region’s trade and business hub.
Despite being close allies, Saudi Arabia and the neighbouring UAE are competing to attract investors and businesses. Their national interests have also increasingly diverged, such as in their relations with Israel and Turkey.
Furthermore, Saudi Arabia – the biggest importer in the region – is trying to diversify its economy and reduce its dependence on oil, while providing more jobs for its own citizens, a point also covered by the rule changes announced over the weekend.
Saudi Arabia will henceforth exclude from the GCC tariff agreement goods made by companies with a workforce made up of less than 25 percent of local people and industrial products with less than 40 percent of added value after their transformation process.
The ministerial decree published on the Saudi official gazette Umm al-Qura said all goods made in free zones in the region will not be considered locally made.