Promotion of Intra-Gulf Economic Cooperation

  • 9 November 2013

The UAE attaches a lot of importance to trade partnerships among the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries in particular and the Arab countries and the world in general. The country firmly believes that greater economic cooperation among different countries is in mutual interests as it enhances returns for the benefit of all sides.

While the UAE has been working for a long time alongside its brotherly countries in the Gulf to pave the way for a new system of government procurement and giving priority to buying of Gulf products, the initiative is significant for several reasons. This includes expansion of markets beyond geographical boundaries of each country and enabling them access to all markets in the region. This not only maximizes economic returns but also improves competitiveness as there is economic value in enhancement of bilateral trade among Arab Gulf countries.

Through the process of building economic partnerships Gulf countries can also create a large number of jobs which will lead to greater vitality in GCC economies, create stability and enhance growth. Gulf countries also need to encourage industries and small and medium enterprises (SMEs), which are critical for expansion of goods and services in Gulf markets. They can also play an important role in promoting intra-regional trade. With support from the authorities, such projects have the potential to broaden production lines to become bigger industrial entities.

The merger of Emirates Aluminium (Emal) and Dubai Aluminium (Dubal) have led to the creation of an entity, which is ranked fifth in the world in terms of production. This goes on to prove the importance of integration of projects of any size. The strategy adopted by the UAE Ministry of Economy focuses on promoting SMEs and raising the contribution of these entities in the country’s economy, according to statement made on Thursday by His Excellency Sultan bin Saeed Al Mansouri, Minister of Economy.

Supporting intra-GCC trade partnerships will build an enabling environment and attract investment for the benefit of Gulf countries, which in turn, will contribute toward increasing GDP of these countries. If Gulf countries depend on products and services from abroad instead of producing them at home, this will comparatively increase the cost of production in GCC countries. This, alongside high production cost, would weaken competitiveness of Gulf products, consequently hampering the process of trade and economic integration.