(MENAFN - Muscat Daily) The official launch of the GCC Statistical Centre (GCCSTAT) in Muscat was held on Wednesday at the Al Bustan Palace, a Ritz Carlton Hotel. The centre, which functions as the only accredited unified statistics database for GCC countries, was approved in September 2011 while its constitutional law was approved in December 2012 by the GCC Supreme Council.
H E Yousuf bin Alawi bin Abdullah, Minister Responsible for Foreign Affairs, who was the chief guest at the inauguration ceremony, said, ''GCCSTAT will definitely provide decision makers in planning and development fields with enough and fast information to execute decisions properly. We had requested for setting up the centre in Oman, and now we have it here. We hope it will develop to be the voice of development in GCC countries that will reach the farthest parts of the world and be available for the youth.''
Sabir Said al Harbi, director general of GCCSTAT said that to put together a long-term strategy for the body, field surveys were conducted in UAE, Qatar and Bahrain recently. Similar surveys will be carried out in other member states. ''We will try to collate and validate data and seek feedback for improvements,'' Harbi said. Meanwhile, an application called GCC-STAT allows smartphone and notepad users to access general information, data on energy, population, education, health, commerce, transport and communications as well as tourism. The application also provides links to statistical periodicals published from GCC countries.
The launch was followed by inauguration of a two-day international forum on transforming statistical system in GCC countries. Themed 'Productivity and New Data Challenges,' the forum ends on Thursday.