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Gulf Countries Look to Form an Integrated Industrial System

Gulf Countries Look to Form an Integrated Industrial System

Sunday, 28 November, 2021 - 12:00
Bahrain’s Minister of Industry, Commerce and Tourism Zayed Al-Zayani (Asharq Al-Awsat)

Bahrain’s Minister of Industry, Commerce, and Tourism Zayed Al-Zayani revealed that Gulf countries were heading towards establishing an integrated industry system by creating a Gulf strategy for the industry.

Al-Zayani said that Gulf countries are working to depend on each other in industries instead of importing raw materials or semi-manufactured materials from abroad.

He noted that this trend will have great positives, in terms of creating jobs, diversifying the base of the economy, and expanding the export value of countries.

“We in the Gulf are heading for a customs and economic union by 2025. The presence of an integrated system for the industry and a unified strategy helps us to talk with global blocs as a bloc,” Al-Zayani told Asharq Al-Awsat.

The minister pointed out that Gulf countries are collectively the 12th economy among the countries of the world.

“This enables us to grow our economy, and to be in the top ten, which sheds more light on the region,” said Al-Zayani.

Speaking about the Gulf trade sector, Al- Zayani said: “We believe that we can enhance and strengthen it by standardizing specifications as much as possible, so that factories produce one product, and they can sell it in all Gulf countries.”

“The flow of goods between Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states will be facilitated by 2025, with the activation of the customs union,” revealed Al-Zayani.

“From time to time, we see some obstacles to the flow of materials and goods between borders, and we aspire to find solutions for that,” he added.

“GCC countries are looking to increase free trade agreements.”

“Recently we worked with the United Kingdom, which is an old strategic partner, and we have a large trade volume with them in goods, amounting to about 30 billion pounds ($40.4 billion), and 19 billion pounds in services ($25.6 billion),” noted Al-Zayani.

Stressing that Gulf countries are a major trading partner for the UK, Al-Zayani said that there is hope to establish trade agreements on the collective level, which is the GCC, and not with each member state on its own.

The Bahraini minister talked about how the tourism sector, which aimed to account for 7% of GDP at the GCC between 2015 and 2019, now is aiming at 11.4%.

“The features of the strategy include several factors, but in the end it is aimed at one goal, which is the focus on the contribution of the tourism sector to the domestic product,” said Al-Zayani.

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