IMF praises GCC for financial integration strides
The International Monetary Fund recently expressed satisfaction with efforts Gulf countries have made towards establishing a single currency, as well as warning Gulf leaders of the challenges yet needed to be overcome.
The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) established a Customs Union in 2003; a unified currency is expected to be in use by 2010 in the region.
In a statement released on Monday, fund directors said that they "welcomed the considerable progress that has already been made toward economic and financial integration among GCC countries," according to <i>Gulf News</i>.
It added that "They encouraged authorities to sustain the process, by focusing on the integration of financial markets and the establishment of a common monetary authority in order to ensure a smooth transition to the monetary union by 2010."
Rodrigo de Rato, IMF managing director, added in a recent statement, "I am encouraged by the fact that structural reforms undertaken by the GCC countries have already contributed to engendering private sector investment and to a rebound in non-oil economic activity across the region over the past few years."