Muscat: Jassem Mohamed Albudaiwi, Secretary General of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), stated today that the GCC Financial and Economic Cooperation Committee is exploring all means to enhance financial and economic cooperation among the GCC countries.

His remarks were made in Muscat, Oman during the 109th meeting of the Financial and Economic Cooperation Committee of the ministers of finance and economy of the GCC countries, chaired by Sultan bin Salem Al Habsi, Minister of Finance of the Sultanate of Oman.

The GCC Secretary General noted the sincere efforts exerted by the Sultanate of Oman and work to enhance the progress of the GCC, and the support, assistance, and interest that the joint Gulf work receives. He thanked the Saudi Minister of Finance for his efforts and support during the period of the Kingdom's presidency of the committee's meetings.

During his speech, Albudaiwi stated: “The joint Gulf action has achieved great accomplishments in the economic field in the past period, which was reflected in the GCC citizen. The total intra-GCC trade increased to nearly USD105 billion in 2021.

The number of citizens who travelled among the GCC countries reached around 7 million, while the number of licenses granted to GCC nationals who engage in economic activities in other GCC countries reached more than 60,000 licenses. The total number of beneficiaries of the decisions related to real-estate ownership reached around 162,000 ownership cases. Meanwhile, in the field of stock trading, the number of shareholders of GCC nationals in joint-stock companies in other GCC countries reached about 431,000 shareholders in 682 joint-stock companies, with a capital of USD376 billion.”

Moreover, the GCC Secretary General recalled what the leaders of the GCC states instructed the esteemed GCC Financial and Economic Cooperation Committee at the Riyadh Summit in December 2022 to complete the remaining steps for the establishment of the Customs Union and the GCC Common Market, and to submit periodic follow-up reports to the Ministerial Council.

He concluded by thanking the Ministers of Finance and Economy and members of the committees in the GCC countries for their valuable efforts and sincere desire to overcome all obstacles and increase cooperation and economic integration among the GCC countries.