KUWAIT CITY – The six Arab states of the Persian Gulf will announce the formation of a common market at the end of the year during their annual summit, the secretary-general of the loose political and economic cartel said in remarks published Wednesday. Abdul Rahman al-Attiyah told the Kuwaiti daily Al-Siyassah that the leaders of the six countries making up the Gulf Cooperation Council will meet in the first half of December in Qatar’s capital Doha.
According to the group’s Web site, the agreement will give citizens of the six states all the same economic rights in each country, including ownership of real estate, stock, capital movement, taxation, pensions and social security. The group is made up of Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Qatar and Oman, and had a combined gross domestic product of more than $553 billion in 2005.
The alliance is also aiming for a monetary union by 2010, modeled on the European Union’s euro, in hopes it will boost regional trade and economic integration.
Al-Attiyah told the newspaper Iran has approached the organization over setting up a free-trade zone agreement among them. The group has agreed to consider it.