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Saudi Arabia supports GCC economic unity at Oman meeting

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia played a crucial role in advancing economic unity among Gulf Cooperation Council member states during ministerial-level meeting of the GCC Economic and Development Affairs Authority, according to the Saudi Press Agency.      

The Kingdom’s representation at the Standing Preparatory Committee on Wednesday in Salalah, Oman was led by Minister of Economy and Planning Faisal bin Fadhil Al-Ibrahim.  

Ministers convened to discuss various matters of mutual interest, including the agenda for the second session of the GCC EDAA, the governance of joint economic and development efforts within the Gulf, and the roadmap for initiatives and projects aimed at achieving economic unity by the year 2025.   

Said Mohammed Al-Saqri, Oman’s minister of economy, chaired the meeting and extended a warm welcome to all participants.    

He emphasized the considerable efforts being invested in fostering cooperation, coordination, and integration among member states. Al-Saqri underscored the importance of collective action in realizing shared objectives in the realms of economic and development cooperation within the GCC.  

The meeting was attended by several other GCC ministers and officials, including Bahrain’s Minister of Finance and National Economy, Sheikh Salman bin Khalifa Al-Khalifa; the UAE’s Minister of Economy, Abdullah bin Touq Al-Marri; and Qatar’s Minister of Finance, Ali bin Ahmed Al-Kuwari.

Other dignitaries included Kuwait’s Acting Assistant Undersecretary for Economic Affairs at the Kuwaiti Ministry of Finance, Talal Al-Namesh; and the Secretary-General of the GCC, Jassim Mohammed Al-Budaiwi.

Al-Saqri noted that intra-GCC exports had increased by 13.4 percent to $83.4 billion in 2021 compared to the previous year, highlighting the importance of the GCC EDAA in reviewing the development path of GCC countries.  

Meanwhile, the participants discussed a number of topics, including the governance of joint economic and development efforts within the Gulf region. They also received updates on the action plan for building the Gulf economic model and its associated mechanisms.  

These discussions are part of ongoing efforts to enhance economic cooperation and integration among the GCC member states. 

It is worth noting that a brainstorming session took place the day before the ministerial-level meeting, during which participants engaged in discussions and explored various working papers. 

The topics covered during this session included the Gulf Customs Union, the establishment of a Gulf common market, the development and utilization of artificial intelligence, and strategies to enhance the competitiveness of the Gulf economy.


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