Kuwait urges Gulf unity to face economic crisis

Kuwait urges Gulf unity to face economic crisis

Kuwait issued an appeal on Sunday to its energy rich Gulf partners to work together in order to contain ongoing fallout from the global financial crisis.

By (AFP)

Published: Sun 13 Dec 2009, 10:05 PM

Last updated: Thu 2 Apr 2015, 3:48 AM

‘We stand before a phase that requires all of us to exert double effort after the global financial crisis that is still impacting the Gulf economies,’ said Kuwaiti Finance Minister Mustafa Al Shamali.

‘Global economic indicators in the second half of the current year require us to work together to avert any additional consequences of the crisis,’ Shamali told a meeting of Gulf finance ministers.

Shamali made no implicit reference to the Dubai debt crisis at the gathering ahead of a two-day summit of leaders from the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), which starts in Kuwait City on Monday.

The oil-dependent GCC economies have been hit hard after a sharp fall in oil revenues when oil prices slumped to slightly more than 30 dollars a barrel from peaks above 147 dollars a barrel in July last year.

Oil prices have since recovered and are hovering between 70 and 80 dollars a barrel.

Shamali urged his counterparts to decide on a number of ‘outstanding’ issues like finalising the implementation of the GCC customs union and resolutions related to the GCC common market.

The minister called for fully implementing the customs union at the beginning of next year, which would mark the end of a seven-year transition period.

He also sought the approval of a GCC railway authority to start implementing a 2,000-km (1,250-mile) rail network linking member states at an estimated cost of up to 25 billion dollars.

The GCC consists of energy-rich Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

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