H.E. the Minister of Commerce and Industry Dr. Tawfiq Bin Fawzan Al Rabiah announced that the intensive efforts, rendered by the Ministry, resulted in modifying the decision of the Philippine authorities. Thus the Kingdom is included within the exempted countries from the preventive duties, imposed on its paper imports. H.E. pointed out that MCI addressed its counterpart in Philippines to modify the decision and to grant the said exemption, while the Philippines had amended its notification to the World Trade Organization to include the Kingdom within the exempted countries from paper duties.
It is worth mentioning that the WTO agreements are granting the developing member states some advantages and preferential exclusions to support developing countries plans in the field of economic development, where these advantages include the specific preventive agreement, which excludes the developing countries from the duties of the products imported from these countries, as long as they do not exceed 3% of the total imports, provided that the proportion of imports from the total developing countries under 3%, would not exceed 9% in all.
As a result of the control and monitoring system conducted by MCI of the procedures taken by WTO Member States, it has come out that some WTO member states are trying to prevent the Kingdom of this exclusion, and of some advantages granted to the developing countries, of which was the preventive duty imposed by Philippines recently on printing paper imports, without excluding the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
MCI confirmed that it had intensified its efforts to preserve the right of the Kingdom of the advantages granted by such Convention, where it had prepared an exclusive list of the States that consider the Kingdom as non- developing country, and then to be excluded from the list of exempted countries that are notified to the World Trade Organization, where MCI began preparing detailed memorandum with facts proving the eligibility of granting the Kingdom this exemption. MCI addressed the Foreign Investigation Authorities, including Philippines which had taken those measures, and asked for the modification of the procedures by exempting the Kingdom of the preventive duty imposed on all countries of the world.
It is worth mentioning that MCI had held several bilateral meetings earlier with the representatives of those countries at the Secretariat of the World Trade Organization to clarify the position of the Kingdom for being non-exempted in accordance with the convention of Preventive duty. In addition, the Kingdom's delegation to the 21st meeting of the standing committee of the harmful international trade practices of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), which was held in Doha on 16 – 17 March, 2015 had presented the negative impacts of the flow of the Gulf Countries' exports, the said delegation had emphasized the need for the GCC states to take action uniformly and collectively to address this issue, and to follow the steps taken by Saudi Arabia. GCC States had adopted this trend, and are currently doing consultation on the adoption of a unified vision toward this issue.
MCI also succeeded earlier in exempting the Kingdom of the duty imposed by Thailand, where it had reversed its position and started dealing with the Kingdom as a developing country, as per its notification to the WTO. MCI is still making great efforts with other countries for taking the same procedures.