Common currency for Gulf states?

Gulf Arab finance ministers are expected to meet in Kuwait City soon to discuss progress made in the planned monetary union and in enforcing a customs union treaty.

    GCC is planning to have a single currency by early 2010

    The ministers will review on Wednesday a report by the monetary union committee of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states which meets 15 and 16 December in Doha, said Adnan al-Khudair of Kuwait's finance ministry on Saturday, quoted by the official KUNA news agency.

    The report focuses on bridging the gap between GCC economic performance, working out the basic guidelines for setting up a GCC monetary union by 2005 and introducing a single GCC currency by early 2010. 

    The currencies of the GCC member states are at present pegged to the US dollar. 

    Customs union

    The finance ministers of the six-nation alliance will also look
    into ways to better enforce a GCC customs union, launched in
    January, Khudair said. 

    The customs union is an important step for moving to the next phase of establishing a Gulf common market, for which a timetable will be worked out. 

    The meeting, which comes ahead of the GCC summit on 21 and 22 December, will also discuss the oil-rich alliance's ties with international blocs, especially the European Union. 

    The ministers will approve a mandatory anti-dumping law in an attempt to help implement the customs union, which aims to create a single customs zone with a uniform 5% customs duty on foreign imports. 

    The GCC groups Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. 

    SOURCE: AFP


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