Considering the decision of the Arab League Summit held in Kuwait in January 2009, which called for increased coordination between the Finance Ministers of the Arab countries, and asked them to develop a means to facilitate it, and for the objective of enhancing cooperation and exchange in the field of fiscal policies, the Ministers have agreed to meet on a regular basis in the form of a “Council”, and have assigned the Arab Monetary Fund to act as its Technical Secretariat.
The Council, in accordance with its rules and procedures, aims to achieve the following objectives:
- Exchange experiences and expertise in terms of fiscal policies.
- Coordinate the Arab countries’ positions on international financial issues, with the objective of advancing their common interests and contributing to finding appropriate solutions for those issues.
- Enhance efforts to promote inter-Arab investments.
- Examine local tax policies and address issues of double taxation.
- Explore standardizing local legislation and financial systems.
- Reinforce investment policies and cooperation towards the protection of sovereign wealth.
- Raise awareness on the economic and financial reform efforts undertaken by the Arab countries.
- Coordinate positions with regard to official development assistance and emphasize the support for it by the Arab countries.
- Ensure the application of international standards and principles on data and financial statistics dissemination.
- Promote and support access of Arab staff to senior positions at International Financial Institutions.
- Strengthen the contribution of Arab countries in efforts to develop international standards in various financial and economic fields.
- Develop a glossary of Arabic terms used in the fields of finance and economics.
The Arab Finance Ministers also agreed to establish a “Preparatory Committee” consisting of the current Chairman and Vice Chairman of the Council, as well as the Director General Chairman of the Board of the Arab Monetary Fund.
The functions of this Preparatory Committee consist mainly of following up on the implementation of the Council’s decisions and recommendations, preparation for its upcoming meetings, including scheduling and preparing draft agendas. The committee could also perform other duties on request of the Council.
The Council’s annual meetings are attended in the capacity of observers, by the Assistant Secretary General for Economic Affairs of the Arab League, the Director General of the Arab Fund for Economic and Social Development, in addition to the IMF and World Bank Executive Directors representing Arab countries.
These meetings are normally held on the sidelines of the annual joint meetings of the Arab Financial Institutions; although the Council may also hold extraordinary meetings as it deems necessary.