Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

GCC Economic and Development Affairs Authority Revives Common Market | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Gulf Arab states form body to boost economic cooperation

Riyadh-Gulf common market and customs union will top the agendas of the GCC Economic and Development Affairs Authority, aiming at enhancing cooperation among GCC countries in all economic and developmental fields and accelerating the pace of joint action to achieve the goals set forth in the statute of the Cooperation Council.

Earlier this month, GCC leaders have decided during their meeting in Jeddah, which was chaired by Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, to form a high-level body among the member states titled “Economic and Developmental Affairs Authority.”

For his part, GCC Assistant Secretary-General for Economic Affairs Abdullah al-Shebli told Asharq Al-Awsat that the decision to form a specialized authority for economic and developmental affairs in the region is represented by officials who occupy high posts in member states.

Al-Shebli explained that the authority’s missions were assigned by the Supreme Council of Gulf States. They are represented in three terms of references, which are: planning developmental and economic policies for the region, discussing what is referred to it by the Supreme Council of the Gulf States, and overcoming any obstacles that might be encountered by the council regarding economic affairs.

Al-Shebli added that the authority will not be chaired by any specific figure, yet it will have a regulatory framework to assist the Supreme Council.

This regulatory framework, he said, will plan economic and developmental policies and help overcome obstacles that will face the authority to reach the aimed joint work.

Al-Shebli also mentioned that whatever was not agreed on regarding economic and developmental matters will be submitted to the authority in order to decide on before being raised to the Supreme Council to issue the final decision.

Specialized committees reviewed the raised files, but no decisions have been issued so far, Al-Shebli said.

Al-Shebli stressed the importance of Gulf economic compatibility, especially that Gulf countries mainly face the same challenges.

According to GCC Secretary General Abdullatif al-Zayani, the Commission will follow up implementation of King Salman’s vision in boosting joint GCC work through examining policies, recommendations, studies and projects that contribute to enhancing cooperation, coordination and integration among the member states.

It will also follow up implementation of economic decisions, agreements and regulations adopted by GCC.