International Diplomat Magazine

Gulf industry, economic integration in spot light

Gulf industry, economic integration in spot light
Gulf industry, economic integration in spot light

(Manama) – Bahrain kick-started two major trade conferences here with the defence against harmful international trade practices taking the centre stage at one of the venues, as the other deals with the economic and commercial integration of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) nations.

The 43rd GCC Industrial Cooperation Committee and the 55th meeting of the GCC Trade Cooperation Committee began in the Kingdom under the chairmanship of Minister of Industry, Commerce and Tourism, Zayed bin Rashid Al Zayani.

The GCC Industrial Cooperation Committee meeting highlighted the need to defend the Gulf industry from the harmful practices of the international trade.

Chairing the meeting, the Minister of Industry, Commerce and Tourism said that the operational steps achieved by the secretariat in this regard are highly effective.

The committee, according to the minister, was instrumental in developing the industrial map of the GCC, a strategy to develop non-oil exports and also prioritised the government procurement of national products in the GCC.

The meeting was held in the presence of Assistant Secretary-General of the Economic and Development Affairs, Khalifa bin Said Al Abri and the GCC Ministers of Commerce.

On his part, Al Abri highlighted the role played by Industrial Cooperation Committee in deepening and enhancing the integration of the GCC nations.

The 55th GCC Trade Cooperation Committee held at the Ritz Carlton Hotel too echoed similar views, while highlighting the importance of the economic and commercial integration in the GCC countries.

Minister Al Zayani, while chairing the conference, said that the nations in the GCC have become a realistic model of regional economic integration, thanks to the progress achieved through unified economic agreement, Customs Union and the GCC Common Market.

The move, according to Alzayani, resulted in a big boom in the volume of intra-GCC trade in the last few years, where the “trade exchange between the GCC countries increased significantly in the first year of the Union 51 per cent.”

The Minister also revealed that the volume of inter-trade has increased over the past years from $15 billion in 2002, the year before establishing the Customs Union to about $115bn in 2015, an increase of 657pc.

“The trade, economic and negotiation centre of the GCC has become one of the largest economic gatherings in the world, making the Gulf economy ranked 11th globally,” the minister pointed out.

The meeting also discussed several other topics including the practice of commercial agencies, study to protect the local agent in the GCC, patent office of the GCC, and recommendations for entrepreneurship and innovation initiatives for small and medium enterprises.