(MENAFN - Arab News) Losses incurred by Gulf states as a result of counterfeited goods are over SR 700 million a year and involve also loss of human lives, the secretary-general of the GCC Standardization Organization (GSO) has said.
Nabeel Mulla, during the ceremony of laying the foundation for the GSO headquarters in Riyadh's diplomatic district on Sunday, called for enacting strict regulations to fight manipulating merchants in the markets of GCC member states.
He revealed some points of the strategic plan to be implemented in 2014.
The plan involves setting up mechanisms for mutual programs between member states, such as certificates of conformity, standardization of procedures and ease of movement of imported goods between member states in case of identical specifications.
"The main obstacles facing the organization at the moment are the lack of standardized specifications for all goods, the different application mechanisms and the conflicting procedures between competent bodies in the same state," said Mulla.
He pointed out that the organization coordinated more than 100 training courses for participants from GCC countries, with more to come.
"An information center with the best technologies will be set up for a constant communication process between member states, in addition to an information data base for all plants and factories to support national industries in Gulf states," he said.
The role of the standardization organization is to protect consumers from fraud and counterfeited products as well as from goods that do not conform to Gulf specifications, he said, stressing that this is done with the partnership of government bodies in GCC states by developing and adopting unified standardized specifications throughout the states.
He said the number of standardized specifications of products would reach 22,000 during the coming three years, up from 6,700 today.
The organization worked hard to unify different standardization activities through the establishment of regulations and legislation related to specifications, conformity and metrology.
It cooperates with executive supervisory bodies in the application of these regulations and developed a strategic plan for the next three years, in which it focused on several aspects of standardization activities.
Minister of Commerce and Industry Tawfiq Al-Rabiah laid the foundation for the headquarters in the presence of UAE Minister of Environment Rashid Ahmed bin Fahd and Al-Mulla.
Al-Rabiah pointed to the directions of Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah to extend all support for Gulf organizations operating in the Kingdom, stressing that all ministries and bodies would do their utmost to overcome obstacles.