“THROUGHOUT the past 39 years, the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries have endorsed several agreements for economic integration among the member states,”
During the recent crisis the implementation of these agreements has become a necessity, particularly in the area of industrial and food integration and this means the GCC member states must work in the area of selfsufficiency and show its steadfastness and ability to face the changes which currently prevail in the world.
As a matter of fact, the GCC has a lot of potentials and these potentials can be used to not depend on foreign states because the GCC countries are not just an oil well as some people believe, rather prior to the discovery of oil the people of the region have surmounted the difficulties of life, be it at the agricultural level or preliminary industries.
From the agricultural point of view, the Gulf states were depending on themselves, in terms of minimum level of self-suffi- ciency, namely the basic commodities since what the people consumed during those days is different from what they consume today. Hence, the peoples of these states during that time boldly faced the difficulties of life and life went on unperturbed.
Today, the GCC member states can fully depend on industrial integration, where the State of Kuwait, for example, can produce a group of commodities and the same is applicable to the Kingdom of Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), the State of Qatar, the Sultanate of Oman and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia where each commodity can play its role towards integrated production just like the European Airbus. The parts are manufactured in one European state and the plane gets assembled in the plant of the mother company. The above is applicable to the mobiles phone industry.
The United States of America, for example, during the recent crisis was striving to produce the above locally to activate its economy and reduce the rate of unemployment.
“But the spread of the corona pandemic put brakes on the American effort or rather forced the postponement indefinitely but the plans are still in the pipeline and this means the US will be able to go put behind the economic crisis after a specific time. But the question is, will we in the Gulf region be in a position to follow the US example?
Yes, we will be able to do so, because we GCC states have the potentials if we agree to work as a team and distribute industries among us.
Take for example, the medical supplies industry. Kuwait has the base and can produce these supplies. “Looking at the UAE, we know the Emirates offers a big base for convertible industries, while the productive base is in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and a very big one and this can be integrated with other GCC member states and this can enhance our dependence on Gulf industries and which means we can minimize our imports from abroad significantly and activate trade among member states. “Anyway, achieving the above requires among other things unification of prices and the cost as well and this entails, for instance, the endorsement of a unified currency.
Take for example, the Arab states depend on the socalled ‘Arab dinar’ which is the ‘theatrical currency’ of these states and as such the Gulf states can consider this as ‘exchange’ currency until an agreement is endorsed for the unified GCC currency. “The above will save a lot and eventually enhance productivity and economic stability in the Gulf, but it is needless to say this requires a serious decision and swift implementation.”
Sattam Ahmad Al-Jarallah
Online Editor for
Alseyassah and Arab Times