Bahrain’s finance minister has said that tariffs will be cut on consumer goods and imported cars by 2003, reported the Gulf News Agency.
Duty on imported cars will be reduced from 20 percent to 15 percent in 2001, to 10 percent in 2002 and to 7.5 percent in 2003. Duties on some certain essential goods will be cut from 10 percent to 5.5 percent by the end of 2003, although duties on other goods will be raised to 7.5 percent by 2003 from 5 percent now, said Abdullah Hassan Saif, Bahrain’s finance and national economy minister.
In November 1999, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Qatar, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates agreed on common tariffs of 5.5 to 7.5 percent as of March 2005. This latest announcement means that the Bahraini government will have met the deadline two years ahead of time.
In January, Bahrain abolished customs duties on foodstuffs and cut tariffs on some goods by up to 25 percent. That, and this recent announcement is being seen by commentators as part of a series of economic and political reforms initiated by Bahrain's Emir Sheikh Hamad bin Isa Al-Khalifa. ¯ (Albawaba-MEBG)
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