According to the Gulf Organisation for Industrial Consulting (GOIC) IMI Plus data, there were about 232 joint industrial projects with exclusively Gulf capitals in 2013. The cumulated value of these investments was estimated at about $23 billion and they offered jobs to about 59.2 thousand workers. On the other hand, there were 3,015 joint Gulf-Arab-foreign projects with cumulated investments worth about $150.8 billion and employing around 360,000 workers.
Joint Gulf ventures constitute about 7.1 per cent of the total joint industrial projects, and the cumulated Gulf capital invested in joint Gulf projects is estimated at 13.2 per cent of the total invested funds in industrial projects.
The data reveal that the United Arab Emirates and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia have scored the highest share of joint Gulf industrial projects (42.7 per cent and 25 per cent, respectively), followed by the Oman (12.5 per cent), Qatar (11.2 per cent), the Kingdom of Bahrain (7.3 per cent) and Kuwait (1.3 per cent).
As to investments in joint Gulf projects, Saudi Arabia had the highest share (37.6 per cent), followed by Qatar (19.5 per cent), Bahrain (18.8 per cent), Oman (13.9 per cent), UAE (8.9 per cent) and Kuwait (1.3 per cent). Saudi Arabia also had the highest share of employments (about 37.1 per cent) followed by UAE (35.2 per cent) and other GCC countries. Most of the operating factories were in the fields of chemicals and plastics. There were 65 factories operating in these areas (28 per cent of the total joint Gulf factories), followed by construction materials industries with 43 factories (18.5 per cent), food and beverage industries (14.2 per cent), and manufactured metal products (11.6 per cent), basic metals industries (6 per cent) and other industries (21.7 per cent).
The total cumulated investments in joint Gulf companies were worth about $23 billion in 2013, not more than 13.2 per cent of the total invested funds in joint industrial projects. The chemicals, rubber and plastic sector had the biggest share of investments worth $11.2 billion (48.7 per cent), most of them in Saudi Arabia and Qatar, followed by the basic metals industry with investments worth about $7.2 billion (31.2 per cent), most of them in Bahrain, Oman and Saudi Arabia, and then construction materials industries (7.7 per cent), food and beverage industries (4 per cent) and other industries.
In this regard, GOIC Secretary-General Abdulaziz bin Hamad al Aqeel stated: "GCC governments were particularly interested in encouraging joint Gulf projects. The GCC unified economic agreement's 12th article had highlighted the importance of undertaking necessary measures to finance and establish joint private and public ventures, similarly to what was mentioned in the GCC unified industrial development strategy".
Al Aqeel added that there are undoubtedly many economic benefits to these joint industrial projects that include providing necessary capital to start industrial projects, notably megaprojects, as one state or one investor is incapable of launching such a venture on its/his own.
Oman Daily Observer