(MENAFN - Arab Times) The creation of the common market among Gulf Cooperation Council member states would have great positive impact on the economies of the region, economic experts and officials agreed Wednesday.
"The common market would help GCC economies benefit from the smooth move of labor, capital and products which will expand the regional markets and help found mega companies with high-competitive products to invade the global markets," GCC's Assistant Secretary General for Economic Affairs Abdullah bin Jumaah Al-Shebli said.
Al-Shebli's remarks were made in a seminar organized by Kuwaiti Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) in cooperation with the GCC Chambers Federation's General Secretariat and the GCC General Secretariat to explore significant developments and obstacles in the GCC common market. "The GCC market would lead to remarkable growth in GCC companies production and drop product price which will help it compete with foreign products on local and global markets," he added. "It will also create new job openings and lure foreign direct investments to the GCC market." For his part, KCCI Board member Usama Al-Nesif said the common market would help GCC states avoid the negative impacts of the sharp international upheavals.
"It would also help address the demographic and unemployment problems in the region," Al-Nesif said.
"The common market would play an important role in helping GCC achieving food, water, electricity sufficiency and bolstering external and social security." He noted that the GCC has made great strides in the relentless efforts to create the common market and support pan-GCC economic relations. "Over 40,000 GCC nationals have investments outside their homeland and the pan-GCC trade have jumped to more than USD 68 billion in 2011," Al-Nesif revealed. Meanwhile, GCC Chambers Federation General Secretary General, Abdulrahim Al-Naqi disclosed that the number of GCC industrial projects have went up to 180 projects in 2010 with a total capital of approximately USD 12 billion.
These projects also have created over 45,000 job opportunities, he said. Al-Naqi pointed out that the number of GCC companies, in which GCC nationals can trade in stock markets, has grown to 646 and the number of bank branches in the GCC region have increased to 26. He added that the number of GCC nationals who own property in other Gulf states reached 9457 while the GCC trade exchange remained low at only ten percent of their total trade balance with the whole world. Moreover, that the number of licenses granted for GCC nationals for economic activities hit 29239 and the number of GCC nationals working in other GCC states amounted to 11,000 in the public sector and 23,000 in the private sector.