(MENAFN - Kuwait News Agency (KUNA)) Secretary General of the Federation of Chambers of Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Abdul Rahim Naqi said here on Sunday that the volume of trade exchange between the GCC countries last year reached nearly USD 65 billion.
In an interview with Kuwait News Agency (KUNA), Naqi said that the volume of this trade could double if many of the customs and border constraints are resolved, explaining that these constraints limit the increase of the volume of trade exchange between the GCC countries.
He called for addressing border constraints and unification of customs procedures to facilitate the traffic of goods among the GCC countries, stressing that the current customs procedures significantly disrupted traffic,
which reduced the size of the desired trade.
He added that the GCC's private sector has a significant contribution to the size of GDP, which reached USD 320 billion, adding that private sector contributions are concentrated in the manufacturing, trade, tourism, transport, communications, financial services and insurance sectors.
Asked whether the private sector was affected by the global financial crisis, Al-Naqi stressed that the GCC region was the least-affected regions in the world by the financial crisis compared to Europe and the United States, thanks to the wise decisions adopted by the GCC investment authorities which minimized the losses compared with those in many countries of the world.
He said the rise in oil prices has maintained stability in the region, stressing that oil can not be relied on forever, therefore, the private sector must contribute to the economic process and become a key partner in the economic activity.
Al-Naqi pointed out that the Gulf private sector is still marginalized compared to the role of the public sector, calling for increasing the contribution of the private sector and give it a bigger role in the volume of economic activity in order to diversify the sources of income and open up economic and functional opportunities for GCC nationals.