Survey: GCC citizens back single currency plan
The majority of citizens surveyed in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries endorsed the proposed GCC single currency, according to a report by the Social and Economic Research Institute (Sesri) at Qatar University. Sesri conducted the survey and released its results this week.
The survey was conducted between December 2010 and January 2011 among a total of 2,692 respondents across five GCC countries. The survey results found that a majority of the citizens in Qatar (85 percent), Saudi Arabia (83 percent), the UAE (84 percent) and Bahrain (82 percent) believed that their countries would benefit from being a member of the GCC single currency while Kuwaitis, on the other hand are less certain about such benefit (as only 49 percent of the Kuwaiti respondents said that their country would benefit from being a member of the single currency).
“Except for Kuwaitis, the majority of the respondents in the other four countries agreed that the introduction of the GCC single currency will foster economic growth in their countries with nearly two-thirds (64 percent) of Qataris and 54 percent of Emiratis strongly believing in this role of the single currency,” Sesri director Dr. Darwish Al-Emadi said this week at a press conference.
“Support for the project is highest among Qataris (90 percent), Saudis (72 percent), and Bahraini citizens (72 percent) while Emiratis (59 percent) and Kuwaitis (41 percent) expressed the lowest support for the project,” Dr. Emadi said.
Moreover, he said “despite all the potential impact of the single currency on their respective countries, respondents of the survey recognized that introduction of the single currency may result in an imbalance of powers.”
Emiratis (84 percent) are likely to hold such a position as compared to Qataris (63 percent), Bahrainis (62 percent), and Saudis (62 percent).
In terms of a name for the single currency, a neutral name – the Khaliji - is being suggested.
Meanwhile, observers of the European Union this week commented that if only the 17 eurozone members can agree on a new European Union (EU) treaty to rescue the euro, it will lead to a partial break up of Eurpoe's monetary union.