The Ministry of Finance (MoF) held a meeting on joint Gulf economic integration. The meeting reflects the Ministry’s commitment to review the components of the GCC joint economic action, and the UAE’s role in supporting the Gulf economic integration projects.
The meeting was attended by HE Younis Haji Al Khoori, Undersecretary of MoF and HE Khalid Ali Al Bustani, Assistant Undersecretary for International Financial Relations Sector at MoF; in addition to Ahmed Ali Al Harmoudi, Director of the economic development sector at the General Secretariat of Executive Council and a number of employees.
The meeting aimed to introduce participants to the Gulf economic integration and its positive impact on citizens, institutions and private sector. The meeting also UAE’s strategic role on a GCC-wide level, and that of the Ministry in particular, as it is the entity mandated with implementing the unified economic agreement between GCC countries, and overseeing GCC financial and economic integration-related elements. The Ministry is also keen to work alongside its strategic partners to set future plans and to receive their feedback and suggestions to support the integration process.
MoF delegation discussed five main elements, including an overview of the GCC-joint economic action, strategic projects, implementation processes for these projects, results and achievements on a GCC level; in addition to the Ministry’s role in supporting projects that promote economic integration and collaboration between GCC countries.
The Ministry offered a review of the structure of Gulf economic work as well as the process of economic integration, which started by signing an economic agreement in 1981, and further developed with the economic agreement in December 2001- which aims to identify programmes and mechanisms to implement economic integration projects. The economic agreement led to the establishment of a free trade zone in 1983, GCC customs union in 2003, Gulf Common Market in 2009 as well as the Monetary Union (EMU) in 2010.
HE Younis Haji Al Khoori stressed the Ministry’s commitment in monitoring the implementation of the unified economic agreement as well as applying the different stages of the Gulf economic integration process within various UAE government entities, representing the country in GCC Financial and Economic Cooperation Committee, as well as encouraging and supporting projects that deepen the Gulf economic integration and enhance its performance.
HE then added: “Developed mechanisms for GCC joint economic action requires combined efforts and cooperation between different countries and related entities, to assess the gulf economic integration process in the economic and development spheres, the work methodology adopted with all GCC countries in order to achieve economic integration stages.”
HE Al Khoori added: “The next stage requires to set an integrated strategy, which will include the operational mechanisms, detailed action plans to maximise the positive results of the GCC economic integration and in turn achieved desired results.”
The Ministry’s delegation reviewed the strategic projects, GCC Customs Union, decisions of the Supreme Council of the Gulf Cooperation Council, discussions of Gulf Common Market activities, and railway linkage project between the GCC states as well as the electricity linkage project.
The Ministry’s delegation also discussed the UAE’s achievements with regards to the gulf economic integration- documented by the statistical report to the General Secretariat of the Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf.
The meeting discussed MoF’s monitoring mechanisms on the progress of Gulf economic integration projects, and ministries and institutions implementing GCC proposals, where the Ministry handles GCM complaints and inquiries through the Custom Union and GCM’s electronic gateway, GCC Takamul which can be found in the Ministry’s website.
MoF continues, through GCM, to circulate media messages through social media in order to raise awareness on gulf economic integration, issue introductory booklets on financial and economic integration, documentaries on the GCM, an annual GCM statistical report and organise seminars and meetings in universities and private and local institutions.