The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) could become the world’s sixth-largest economy by 2030 if it were to become a single market instead of six separate ones, according to a new report by global consultancy EY.
“If it is able to keep growing at an annual average of 3.2 per cent for the next 15 years, it could become the sixth-largest economy in the world by 2030, hovering just below Japan,” EY said in its report titled ‘Strength in unity: Making the GCC the sixth largest economy in the world’.
A single GCC market could reduce overall trade costs by around 12 per cent, boost productivity and attract higher levels of foreign direct investment.
GCC integration could boost the economy by $36 billion (Dh132.2 billion), according to the report.
The GCC could operate as a single market if it removed barriers to trade, created common standards and regulations, in addition to developing committees to facilitate cooperation among the GCC states, according to Phil Gandier, transaction advisory services leader at EY for the Middle East and North Africa region.
“First, remove some of the barriers to trade in the region… there are too many regulations and delays. Number two, develop some common regulations … if I’m a company and I want to do business here, it’s really hard to do that now. If I look at one country, I can set up a 100 per cent foreign owned-[company], but if I look at another country it’s going to be only 49 per cent owned … and third, develop committees that will help facilitate cooperation among the GCC,” he said on the sidelines of a press conference in Dubai on Monday.