Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Secretary-General Dr. Nayef al-Hajraf said that the start of post-pandemic economic recovery requires joint efforts from both public and private sectors in GCC countries.
If Gulf states wished to preserve pre-pandemic gains and ensure their continued growth, public and private sectors must work together to advance the progress on the lifting of related restrictions and lockdowns, resuming commercial activities and reinforcing the surge in spending.
In his statement to the Emirates News Agency (WAM), on the sidelines of the 55th meeting of the Federation of GCC Chambers hosted by the UAE from June 7-9, 2021, Al Hajraf said that the value of trade between GCC countries exceeded $90 billion in 2019, which does not meet the aspirations of the GCC’s leaders and peoples.
There is an urgent need to encourage more trade between GCC countries, which constitute a market of over 58 million people with a combined GDP totaling some $1.590 trillion in 2019, he added while highlighting the private sector’s key role in increasing GCC trade.
He also affirmed the need to explore the challenges and obstacles facing the private sector in GCC countries, which are working together to overcome various challenges and create adequate appropriate solutions, to enhance the role of the private sector in supporting GCC exports.
He noted the ongoing cooperation between the GCC Secretariat-General and the Federation of GCC Chambers, which formed a high-level joint action team that holds regular meetings to discuss and monitor all related issues.
The previous consultative meeting of the heads of federations and chambers of GCC countries and ministers of commerce took place on Nov. 4, 2020, and there are ongoing meetings with members of the GCC Customs Union Authority, he noted.
Al-Hajraf further highlighted the keenness of the leaders of GCC countries to enhance their overall cooperation, most notably in economic and development areas and stressed the importance of prioritizing relevant strategic projects while expressing his appreciation for the significant efforts to hold the joint meeting.