(MENAFN - The Peninsula) Inter-GCC trade has risen more than four times since 2002 due primarily to the establishment of a regional customs union.
Regional trade was worth 15bn in 2002, a figure which soared to an incredible 65bn in 2008, according to Dr Khalid bin Mohamed Al Attiyah, Minister of State for International Cooperation and Acting Minister of Business and Trade.
He told an event which was held to mark 30th anniversary celebrations here of the Federation of GCC Chambers of Commerce that the announcement to set up a common regional market earlier had a positive impact on inter-GCC trade. The minister said that the GCC private sector had developed very fast and was now capable of sustaining the regional economy in the face of dwindling oil prices.
"Our private sector is a safeguard against future volatilities in the global oil markets which can otherwise hit our economies hard," he said at the conclusive day of the two-day event on Thursday. Such events, according to the minister, are quite significant as they accelerate interaction between the private sectors of GCC countries which eventually helps in increasing regional trade.