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Gulf to Establish Bloc to Compete with World’s Largest Economies - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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Dammam-Economic experts assured the importance of a plan announced by Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman on establishing a Gulf economic bloc to be the world’s sixth largest economy.

Experts stressed the effectiveness of this plan in building a bloc having a key role and constituting a driving force for the growth of the global economy.

Dr. Abdulrahman al-Sultan, Saudi economic expert, said that the value of GCC economies combined together amount up to $2 trillion, but he noted that the drop in oil prices have negatively affected these economies that depend directly on oil.

Sultan said that the value of these economies rises and falls according to the fluctuating prices of oil.

He added: “GCC countries need to diversify their economic base and sources of income and adopt an economic development plan based on a clear strategy.”

“GCC economies depend directly on oil, thus if oil prices continue to fall the six gulf states will need to exert tremendous efforts to develop and be able to compete globally.”

Sultan further noted that creating an economic integration among GCC states require ambitious strategies.

For example, he said, “Saudi Arabia adopted the 2030 vision after it has experienced nine developmental plans within the past 45 years, aiming at diversifying its sources of income and expanding the production base, yet this did not work out for it since it was very challenging.”

He confirmed that the challenge is even greater in this period, but it must work out, especially in light of the clearance of the strategic plan adopted by the Kingdom.

For his part, Chairman of the Committee of Economy and Energy at the Shoura Council Abdul Rahman Al-Rashed said that GCC states have all elements to become the world’s sixth largest economy.

Rashed explained that all Gulf States are rich in oil and have financial reserves and huge foreign investments, thus if they invest them as they should and coordinate together, they could transform into a huge economic bloc.

He said that if efforts exerted in this matter were serious, these economies could be included within the largest global economies after the United States, China, Japan, European Union and Brazil.