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Common Market to Create 2.75 million jobs in the GCC

Middle East : 25 November 2010

Reductions in price and costs of production are expected results of project that will open up 2.75 million jobs.

Oil producers in the Gulf launched a groundbreaking common market at the beginning of 2008 with the goal to create almost 2.75 million new employment positions.  The market should also result in 2.15 percent growth according to a leading official in the Gulf.

Approval for the common market was given by all six members of the Gulf Cooperation Council.  It is expected to upgrade efficiencies within the economy, slash the cost of production, improve competitiveness and control prices stated the GCC’s international economic relations director Abdul Aziz Al Owaishiq.

Owaishiq stated that lessons learned from the European Union will help the economy grow by an annual rate of 2.15 percent thanks to the common market, which should also create 2.75 million employment opportunities in the Gulf.

He also said that the market, which is included in the merger planning for the Gulf economic alliance formed 29 years ago, will present equal opportunities for all residents of the member states.

Citizens will have the chance to own shares, start companies and work within the public sector.  They will also be given the opportunity to receive social security as well as pensions, own properties, have access to free healthcare and education, transfer capital within the member states and freely move and reside within the group.

For businesses it will provide a structure for economic, servicing and investing activities within the market, allowing them to own investment properties and benefit from the scope and size of single market coverage, providing opportunities for more production, upgraded output and better distribution.

Local economies, as well as the pan-GCC economy, will experience a more unified import and export market.  There will be a wider scope for investment deals within the GCC members and more opportunity for capital inflow from both foreign and Arab sources.  Economic resources will be optimized and the bargaining power of the GCC group will be larger, along with increased status across the globe.

Created back in May of 1981, the loosely political and strong economic group of the GCC includes Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the UAE.

The pact to bring about this common market was agreed to in 1983, along with plans for a customs union and a monetary merger.

Estimates say that the GCC has a combined economy of $1 trillion for 2010.  Also, almost 40 percent of the recoverable global oil deposits and more than 20 percent of gas reserves are under the control of the GCC.

An annual summit will be held at the beginning of December in Abu Dhabi where heads of state within GCC members will meet to talk about issues of politics and the economy.

Andrew Reid, Staff Writer, Gulf Jobs Market News
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