Cementing industrial ties among the Gulf Cooperation (GCC) member states featured high on the agenda of the 39th meeting of the bloc's Ministers of Industry in Riyadh on Wednesday.
The GCC has been paying high attention to developing the industrial sector through promoting the investment environment, encouraging investors and fostering partnership between the public and private sectors to achieve sustainable development, GCC Assistant Secretary-General for Economic Affairs Abdullah Al-Shibli, told the meeting.
Today's meeting was chaired by Kuwait's Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Commerce and Industry: Abdulmohsen Al-Madaj.
Thus, the GCC has realized repeated rises in the share of the industrial sector in GDP, which reportedly hit 10 percent , Al-Shibli said. The GCC senior economic official noted that establishing the Customs Union and the Common Market transferred the joint GCC economic action from coordination and cooperation to an advanced phase of economic merger and integration.
According to Al-Shibli, it is imperative for the GCC countries to intensify efforts and enhance coordination to face the "future challenges" amid rapid changes on the world markets and ardent competition among the regional and the international economic blocs to increase each share of the world trade and investment.
He also referred to predictions of changes in the structure of the world economy, saying that change of the nature of production will of course impact the existing competition, prompting the GCC to benefit from available opportunities and encourage innovation to develop industry.
The meeting discussed recommendations of a study to assess the obstacles, as well as the achievements of the GCC unified industrial strategy and joint action.
The Ministers also addressed a proposal to form a committee for officials responsible for initiatives by entrepreneurs on developing small and medium size enterprises (SMEs).