bahrain dinar

Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf

The Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf (CCASG; مجلس التعاون لدول الخليج العربية), also known as the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC; مجلس التعاون الخليجي) is a trade bloc involving the six Arab states of the Persian Gulf with many economic and social objectives.

Key Indicators

Name Capital Population Area (km²) GDP (mil. US$) Per capita (US$) Currency
Manama 1,046,814 716 15,354 23,604 Bahrain Dinar
Doha 1,307,229 11,437 52,722 80,870 Qatari Riyal
Kuwait City 2,460,000 17,818 95,924 39,300 Kuwaiti Dinar
Muscat 2,534,000 309,500 35,990 19,879 Omani Rial
Riyadh 26,417,599 2,240,000 572,200 21,200 Saudi Riyal
Abu Dhabi 4,588,697 83,600 163,296 55,200 UAE Dirham


Created on May 25, 1981, the 630 million-acre Council comprises the Persian Gulf states of Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. The unified economic agreement between the countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council was signed on November 11, 1981 in Riyadh. These countries are often referred to as Gulf Cooperative Countries.

Not all of the countries neighboring the Persian Gulf are members of the council. Iran is excluded, as is Iraq, although both nations have a coastline on the Persian Gulf. Yemen is (currently) in negotiations for GCC membership, and hopes to join by 2016.. The GCC Patent Office was approved in 1992 and established soon after.

A GCC common market was launched on January 1, 2008. The common market grants national treatment to all GCC firms and citizens in any other GCC country, and in doing so removes all barriers to cross country investment and services trade.

All GCC members and Yemen have since joined the Greater Arab Free Trade Area (GAFTA) when that organization was founded. However, this is unlikely to significantly affect the agenda of the GCC as it has a more aggressive timetable than GAFTA and is seeking greater integration.

Main objectives

Among the stated objectives are:

  • formulating similar regulations in various fields such as economy, finance, trade, customs, tourism, legislation, and administration;
  • fostering scientific and technical progress in industry, mining, agriculture, water and animal resources;
  • establishing scientific research centers;
  • setting up joint ventures;
  • encouraging cooperation of the private sector;
  • strengthening ties between their peoples; and
  • establishing a common currency by 2010 (However, Oman had announced it will not be able to meet the target date.) (The name Khaleeji has been proposed as a name for this currency.)


This area has some of the fastest growing economies in the world, mostly due to a boom in oil and natural gas revenues coupled with a building and investment boom backed by decades of saved petroleum revenues. In an effort to build a tax base and economic foundation before the reserves run out, the UAE's investment arms, including Abu Dhabi Investment Authority, retain over $900 billion in assets. Other regional funds also have several hundred billion dollars.

The region is also an emerging hotspot for events, including the 2006 Asian Games in Doha, Qatar. Doha is also planning to submit its application for the 2016 Summer Olympic Games.

In 2006, its GDP (nominal) was $717.8 billion (IMF April 2007), led by spectacular growth in United Arab Emirates and Qatar. . In 2007, its GDP (nominal) was $1,022.62 billion (IMF April 2008). IMF predicts its GDP to reach $1,112.076 billion at end of 2008 and $1,210.112 billion at end of 2009. Qatar is expected to overtake top ranked Luxembourg in GDP (nominal) per capita next year for the world's top spot. See List of countries by GDP (nominal) per capita.


Comparison with other regional blocs

See also


External links

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