This year's anniversary comes while the Gulf citizen enjoys security and stability, feels proud of their gains and achievements, and extends a helping hand to their brothers and the whole of humanity.
During its fifth decade, the GCC Council accomplished several projects, steps, and stages, most notably the unified identity of the GCC card (smart card), which contributed to facilitating the movement of citizens between member states, reducing the waiting period in front of entry points by entering through electronic gates, and helping streamline the movement of national labor among the member states.
Since its establishment, the GCC member states realized the importance of economic citizenship that stems from the full equal treatment among GCC citizens without distinction or discrimination in all economic fields, making it the bedrock and the backbone for any joint economic action. The GCC Financial and Economic Cooperation Committee had an effective and influential role regarding all the economic decisions issued by the GC Supreme Council in that regard, including the statute of real estate ownership by GCC nationals within member States for residential and investment purposes, abolishing restrictions on the practice of economic activities and free professions by GCC citizens in the Member States, extending the insurance protection cover for GCC citizens working in other GCC States, in both public and private sectors, and allowing companies owned by GCC citizens of to open branches in Member States.
One of the most prominent stages of the GCC was establishing the Gulf Common Market which provides several benefits, including the ease of movement of goods among GCC States, which leads to increased competitiveness between gulf institutions in favor of the consumer. The GCC States also established the GCC Free Trade Area, which is characterized by exempting the industrial and agricultural goods and the natural resources of the GCC States from customs duties. The GCC Free Trade Area came into effect in March 1983 and continued for around 20 years until the end of 2002 when it was replaced by the GCC Customs Union.
The GCC States also aspired for the Monetary Union as it constitutes the last building block in the project of economic integration among the GCC States, and with its completion, the member states will effectively become one economic bloc at the international level. The Single Currency would also embody a unified economic identity for the member states. It would also represent a symbol of integration and a practical step to achieve Gulf citizenship. The monetary union would increase the global presence and influence of the member states in international forums and global economic decision-making institutions.
The education sector received great attention from the GCC states during the past years and succeeded in making several achievements, including equality in general and technical education and the promotion of Gulf citizenship. The Gulf Network for Quality Assurance of Higher Education was established and a guide for equality among GCC citizens who are residents in each other's countries in terms of treatment at universities and government higher education institutions was endorsed.
In the health sector, GCC states demonstrated their cooperation through the exchange of expertise and medical technologies during the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. The experience showed the member states' ability to work jointly to stem the spread of the virus through quarantine measures and the application of preventive standards regulating international travel and trade. (MORE)
Source: Qatar News Agency