Younis Haji Al Khouri speaking at the business workshop entitled ‘GCC Citizenship, Rights and Duties’ on Wednesday in Dubai. — KT photo by Shihab
Dubai: The intra trade between the UAE and the GCC countries has seen a quantum leap of 50 per cent over the period from 2008 to 2013.
This was affirmed in an introductory workshop on GCC joint action decisions hosted by the UAE Ministry of Finance (MoF) in collaboration with the Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf.
The senior official present affirmed the need to come up with a unified time-framed mechanism to issue the right action decisions that help put the decrees of the Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf in place.
Younis Haji Al Khouri, the Undersecretary of MoF, on Wednesday said the cooperative relationship between GCC countries is of great value that does enhance the member states’ ability to achieve social and economic security and stability.
“The intra trade between the UAE and the GCC countries has grown from Dh64 to 96 billion — a rise of 50 per cent, from 2008 to 2013, giving a boost to the Customs Union.”
Khalid Ali Al Bustani, Assistant Undersecretary of International Financial Relations Sector at MoF, illustrated GCC common market successes achieved by the UAE.
“As many as 1,085 Gulf citizens are now working in the UAE federal government sector while 8,058 GCC nations were insured in the country last year.”
Al Bustani then explored means of supporting gulf economic integration, by removing all trade barriers, facilitating the movement of products, and enacting the economic policies needed.
“The UAE has further issued 35,006 licences to GCC citizens for practicing economic activities in the country by the end of 2013.”
He also explained the structure of GCC joint economic action, in addition to the stages adopted to deepen financial and economic integration in the Gulf, support the Customs Union of the GCC States in reaching the final stage, and to strengthen the GCC common market.
“The Gulf capital in the stock companies here hit Dh33.9 billion in 2013 whereas the real estate properties registered for Gulf nationals amounted to 15,600 in the same year.”
Al Bustani then talked about the e-gate the MoF launched for receiving and responding to complaints and queries under the theme ‘GCC Takamul’ which connects 28 government and semi-government local and federal entities related to the Gulf Common Market.
Abdullah Al Shibli, Assistant Secretary General for Economic Affairs, GCC Secretariat General, told Khaleej Times that all Gulf citizens enjoy the same economic rights at any of the member states under the GCC common market launched in January 2008.
“The list of common rights includes education, labour, investment, freehold, buying stocks, social and health insurance, pension and retirement system, free movement with ID cards, and same range of salaries.”
Abdullah Mahanna, Manager of Labour & Social Affairs, GCC Secretariat General, told Khaleej Times that the GCC is actually one nation whose citizens’ have the same religion, culture, traditions, language, environment, and lands.
“All Gulf citizens need to be fully aware of the GCC decisions and achievements to benefit from, and more importantly come back with feedbacks and suggestions for more development.”
Meanwhile, a set of papers related to joint GCC initiatives were presented. These explored the development of the Customs Union of the GCC States, Gulf commerce and industry, and decisions relating to work, education, health, as well as the role of the media in raising awareness of decisions for joint action.
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