KUWAIT CITY, (AP)- The six Arab states of the Gulf will announce the formation of a common market at year’s end during their annual summit, the secretary-general of the loose political and economic cartel said in remarks published Wednesday.
Abdul Rahman al-Attiyah told the Kuwaiti daily Al-Siyassah that the leaders of the six countries making up the Gulf Cooperation Council will meet in the first half of December in Qatar’s capital Doha. He said the common market was a major “step on the road to achieving Gulf citizenship.”
According to the group’s Web site the agreement will give citizens of the six states all the same economic rights in each country, including ownership of real estate, stock, capital movement, taxation, pensions and social security.
The GCC is made up of Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Qatar and Oman, and had a combined gross domestic product of over US$553 billion in 2005.
The alliance is also aiming for a monetary union by 2010, modeled on the European Union’s euro, in hopes it will boost regional trade and economic integration.
Al-Attiyah told the newspaper Iran has approached the GCC over setting up a free-trade zone agreement among them and the group has agreed to consider it.
“I received a letter two months ago from Iran’s foreign minister expressing his country’s desire to make this agreement,” the secretary-general said.
The proposal will be on the agenda of a meeting at the end of this month of the cartel’s economic and financial cooperation committee.