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Financial Sector in GCC Countries - Essay Example
The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC)" is a forum composed of six Middle Eastern countries formed for trade, industry and political policy coordination in 1981. "The six member states include the Kingdom of Bahrain, State of Kuwait, Sultanate of Oman, State of Qatar, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates…
Nonetheless, current events indicate increasing cooperation among GCC countries on particular trade matters such as customs duties, quality standards, cross-member investment, and intellectual property right protection (USTR 179).
An agreement for free trade among the six member countries in 1983 was one of the early achievements of the Gulf Cooperation Council. All of the six member countries were signatories to the United Economic Agreement which provides duty free access to all products manufactured in GCC member countries with compliance to existent origin and ownership laws (Al-Muharrami et.al. 5).
With the aim of achieving goals for greater economic integration, member states agreed in 1999 to set external tariffs to a common range by 2005. In January 2003 the six GCC member states put up a Customs Union which in theory implies that member states are to adopt integrated customs laws and regulations, one point-of-entry, with open internal exchange of products and classification of products as national origin inside the GCC. Tariff application, income allocation and quality standards are some of the unresolved issues related to the bylaws of the Customs Union. The council was set to agree in 2005 on convergence criteria for adoption of a single currency in 2010 (USTR 179).
Bahrain is one of the most diverse and active financial centers in the Gulf. ...