ABU DHABI, 19th January, 2017 (WAM) — The two-day second Annual Meeting for Under-secretaries of Arab Ministries of Finance, hosted by Abu Dhabi and organised by the Arab Monetary Fund in collaboration with the Ministry of Finance has concluded.

The meeting was headed by Mona al Sayed Ismail Abou Haraz, Under-secretary of the Ministry of Finance in the Republic of Sudan, and attended by under-secretaries in Arab countries and experts from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank as well as the Arab Monetary Fund.

The IMF made a presentation on the “Reformation of the Pricing of Energy in Arab Countries”, and later held discussions affirming the importance of the efforts in support of energy to strengthen the economic situation.

The participants, which included the under-secretaries of Ministries of Finance in the UAE, Algeria, Bahrain, Oman, Qatar, Egypt, and Morocco, gave their comments on the IMF paper which will be submitted to the Council of Arab Ministers of Finance.

The World Bank made a presentation about the “Efficiency of General Investments in Arab Countries: Opportunities and Challenges” and confirmed the discussions on structural and legislative reforms which will strengthen the efficiency of investment and result in a better livelihood and provide more job opportunities.

The participants discussed Tax reforms in Arab countries, and the Arab Monetary Fund presented a study on participating countries, which discussed the different systems and tax policies in Arab countries.

The meetings also discussed application of Value Added Tax (VAT) and the challenges and opportunities it presents to Arab countries. The Arab Monetary Fund also presented a case study wherein VAT had been applied in Arab countries.

The under-secretaries of finance of the UAE, KSA, Republic of Sudan and Egypt discussed their respective countries’ experiences with VAT.

The participants highlighted the need for technical support and the help of Arab countries to make proper amendments in implementing VAT.

At the meeting, the assistant secretaries of finance of the UAE, Algeria, KSA and Egypt discussed their countries’ experiences in designing strategies and policies to diversify their economies.