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Intra-GGC trade shoots up 768pc in two decades to $90bn

MANAMA, September 23, 2014

Ongoing GCC economic integration has led to 768 per cent growth in intra-regional trade to more than $90 billion in 2012 when compared with the level in 1993, it has emerged.

According to Adviser to His Majesty the King for Diplomatic Affairs and Bahrain Centre for Strategic and International Studies (Derasat) board of trustees chairman Dr Mohammed Abdul Ghaffar, plans for closer integration are topped by the monetary union, the GCC railway network and include the construction of the King Hamad Causeway, which will boost the accomplishment of integration links of projects between the six countries.

Dr Abdul Ghaffar said this during a seminar on challenges to the implementation of economic integration between GCC states at the InterContinental Regency Bahrain yesterday (September 22), reported the Gulf Daily News (GDN), our sister publication.

Saudi Minister of Commerce and Industry Dr Tawfiq bin Fawzan Al Rabiah, who also spoke at the forum, said GCC economies have proven capability to surmount the regional and international crises and maintained an advanced international position by ranking amongst the top 12 world economies.

"GCC economies grew to $1.65 trillion last year and are expected to grow to $1.7 trillion by the end of the year at an anticipated 4.2 per cent rate."

Dr Al Rabiah said GCC countries ranked fifth worldwide in terms of their share in the total volume of international trade at $1.4 trillion in 2012.

The Saudi minister said the GCC Customs Union has led to an increase in average volume of yearly trade exchange between GCC member countries to more than $58 billion from $12.5 billion, before it was signed.

"The remarkable increase in the volume of intra-GCC trade exchange stimulates us to achieve more as the volume of inter-GCC trade constitutes 6.2 per cent of the overall volume of trade of GCC countries compared with 63.6 per cent among European Union countries," he said.

The forum's first session discussed requirements for expansion of the economic base in GCC countries and diversification of revenue sources.

The second session discussed the future of energy in GCC countries and challenges facing Gulf states such as oil and energy security issues.

The third session focused on Gulf joint ventures. This session discussed the role of the private sector and educational institutions in curbing unemployment and the capability of Gulf economic legislation to deal with global economic blocs.

Earlier, Industry and Commerce Minister Dr Hassan Fakhro received the Saudi minister at the Bahrain International Airport in the presence of Dr Abdul Ghaffar.

Organised by Saudi-based Gulf Research Centre in collaboration with Derasat, the seminar was attended by a number of experts and specialists. - TradeArabia News Service




Tags: Bahrain | GCC | economic | Integration |

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