GCC, Organisation Structure, Among the Stated Objectives, India-GCC and Political Dialogue

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GCC

  • Political and economic union of the Arab states bordering the Persian Gulf and constituting the Arabian Peninsula, namely Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and United Arab Emirates

  • Total GDP $1.4 trillion

  • Proposed Currency: Khaleeji

Organisation Structure

  • The Supreme Council: heads of states; determines policy

  • The Ministerial Council: foreign ministers; draws up policy

  • The Secretariat General: drafts rules and regulations and helps countries implement

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.

  • unified military presence (Peninsula Shield Force)

  • encouraging cooperation of the private sector.

  • strengthening ties between their peoples; and

  • establishing a common currency by 2010

Current Status

  • A GCC common market was launched on January 1, 2008.[9] 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.

  • Oman and the UAE later announced their withdrawal of the proposed currency until further notice.

  • On May 10, 2011, a request by Jordan(expertise in military and developed technology) to join the GCC was formally being considered and Morocco(has a well-developed military that could assist in Saudi Arabia’s efforts in the Yemen conflict) was invited to join the council

  • A customs union was declared in 2003, but practical implementation has lagged behind

  • 31st GCC Summit was held in Abu Dhabi from December 2010. The Summit decided to go ahead with the third phase of the GCC power grid which will streamline the electricity generation, maintenance and consumption in GCC. Its voiced support against terrorism, pledged support to all regional and

  • international efforts aimed at combating terrorism and called on the international community to establish a global center to fight terrorism.

Arab Spring

  • sees the uprisings as an unprecedented threat to regional security. It wants stability more than anything. The bloc backed a no-fly zone in Libya

  • On March 14, the GCC’s Peninsula Shield Force, with troops from Saudi Arabia and police from the United Arab Emirates, entered Bahrain to help quell the protests there.

  • It is interesting that the two countries that experienced intense protests in the GCC region were Oman and Bahrain – both relatively poor countries. And, both – bolstered by the $20 billion assistance from the other GCC neighbors – have met political challenges in part with lavish financial inducements to key sectors of society.

  • Saudi Arabia too has invested at least $130 billion to create jobs, build houses, pay bonuses and create unemployment benefits, among others.

  • Started discussing bids of Jordan and Morocco to bolster their military.

India-GCC

Importance to India

  • Bilateral trade: $85bNearly 40 % of India’s crude oil import is met from GCC countries.

  • offers tremendous potential for cooperation in trade, investment, energy, manpower etc.

  • This region hosts nearly 5.5 million Indians. The oil-rich Gulf States with their massive oil revenues are engaged in an ambitious economic development and modernization programme, which has created a demand in GCC States for skilled manpower and labour.

  • GCC countries have mutually beneficial complementarities with India in the field of investments.

  • India has successfully bid for oil blocks in Yemen, Qatar and Oman. Efforts are ongoing to setup joint ventures in downstream petrochemicals, fertilizer and energy intensive industries in the gulf and in India.

  • The Gulf countries provide an excellent market potential for India’s manufactured goods and services, especially in project services exports.

  • 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.

India-GCC FTA

  • Framework agreement was signed in 2004. 3 rounds of negotiations were held.

  • It was agreed that the proposed FTA will also include services and investment besides trade in goods. Negotiations are going on.

Political Dialogue

  • 5th round of political dialogue was strengthening up of India-GCC relations. Economy, trade and industry were stated as top priority as well as exchange of views on security issues.

  • “The Gulf region, like South-East and South Asia, is part of ournaturaleconomic hinterland. We must pursue closer economic relations with all our neighbors in our wider Asian neighborhood. India has successfully pursued a ˜Look East” policy to come closer to the countries of South-East Asia. We must, similarly, come closer to our western neighbors in the Gulf.”-PM.

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