This paper mainly focuses on initiation of the Arab economic integration, more specifically on the countries, which are active members of the Gulf Cooperation Council. It provides a clear description of the market environment in these countries and the strategies that the governments of the respective member states have put into place to enhance the efforts of integration. The paper further focuses on both the major challenges that limit the implementation process and the possible approaches that can be adopted, so as to achieve optimum economic integration among the GCC member states.
Regional economic integration among the Arab countries especially for the GCC countries has been a notable phenomenon. Efforts of regional economic integration in these countries started earlier than any other developing region in the world at around 1950s, The Arab states resolved on adopting numerous regional economic agreements that aimed at lifting up trade barriers mainly on preferential basis. These initiatives of economic integration had a significant economic impact on these integrated countries.
The studies and analysis of this Arab integration indicated that the slow accomplishment and realization of the integration is due to the low intra-regional trade of goods among the member states.
The key challenge in the pursuance of the economic integration by Arab countries is the efforts to establish a common market or a custom union. This has not been made possible due to its implementation nature where it requires agreement and harmonization of policies and regulations between the states. There is a need to establish institutional mechanisms, that will promote regional economic integration, in these counries.