Riyadh – Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz, Second Deputy Premier and Minister of Defense, stressed that the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) States, as one bloc, have an opportunity to be the sixth largest economy in the world if they joined forces in the coming years.
Speaking at the opening ceremony of the first meeting of the GCC Economic and Development Affairs Authority, which was held in Riyadh on Thursday, the Deputy Crown Prince stressed the need to unify efforts to reach aspired goals of sustainable development and prosperity.
“Today, we are trying to take advantage of these opportunities, especially as we are in an era marred by world economic instability,” Prince Mohammed said.
“Therefore, we need to work together to achieve development and prosperity”, he added.
The meeting, which concluded Thursday night, identified five basic priority areas, including boosting joint economic cooperation, adopting mechanism for quick implementation of key economic decisions, reviewing the GCC economic and development policies, programs and initiatives, facilitating structural, legal, financial and manpower related aspects to develop economic dimension of Gulf joint work, and giving top priority to youth affairs.
GCC Secretary General Dr. Abdulatif Al-Zayani said that the Authority aims at overcoming all obstacles facing the joint Gulf market and the Union of Customs, adding that the attendees discussed the means to put forward a strategic plan to consolidate economic cohesion between Gulf States.
Asked by Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper on the date of the upcoming meeting, Zayani said the Authority’s second meeting is expected to be held in mid-2017.
The Authority’s first meeting was attended by Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs of the United Arab Emirates; Sheikh Nasser bin Hamad Al Khalifa, Representative of Bahrain’s King for Charity and Youth Affairs; Minister of Diwan of Royal Court and Representative of Oman at the Authority Khalid bin Hilal bin Saud Al-Busaidi; Qatar’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdul Rahman bin Jassim Al Thani; Kuwait’s Minister of State for Cabinet Affairs Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdullah Al-Mubarak Al-Sabah; and GCC Secretary General Dr. Abdulatif Al-Zayani.