Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf
|This article's factual accuracy may be compromised due to out-of-date information. (March 2011)|
مجلس التعاون لدول الخليج العربية
Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf (CCASG)
Map indicating CCASG members.
|Headquarters||Riyadh, Saudi Arabia|
|-||Secretary General||A. bin Rashid Al Zayani|
|-||Supreme Council Presidency||Bahrain|
|-||As the GCC||25 May 1981|
1,032,093 sq mi
|GDP (nominal)||2011 estimate|
|a.||Sum of component states' populations.|
The Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf (CCASG; Arabic: مجلس التعاون لدول الخليج العربية ), also known as the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC; مجلس التعاون الخليجي), is a political and economic union of the Arab states bordering the Persian Gulf and located on or near the Arabian Peninsula, namely Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and United Arab Emirates. Jordan and Morocco have been invited to join the council.
On 6 March 2012, the six members of the GCC announced that the Gulf Cooperation Council would be evolving from a regional bloc to a confederation, in possible response to Arab democratic unrest and increased Iranian influence in the region. This proposal is strongly backed by Saudi Arabia, but doubts have been raised by the other countries.
Established in Abu Dhabi on 25 May 1981, the original Council comprised the 630-million-acre (2,500,000 km2) Persian Gulf states of the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Qatar and Kuwait. The unified economic agreement between the countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council was signed on 11 November 1981 in Abu Dhabi. These countries are often referred to as the GCC States.
Among the stated objectives are:
- Formulating similar regulations in various fields such as religious, finance, trade, customs, tourism, legislation, and administration.
- Fostering scientific and technical progress in industry, mining, agriculture, water and animal resources.
- Establishing scientific research centers.
- Setting up joint ventures.
- Unified military presence (Peninsula Shield Force).
- Encouraging cooperation of the private sector.
- Strengthening ties between their peoples.
- And establishing a common currency by 2010.
- However, Oman announced in December 2006 it would not be able to meet the target date. Following the announcement that the central bank for the monetary union would be located in Riyadh and not in the UAE, the UAE announced their withdrawal from the monetary union project in May 2009. The name Khaleeji has been proposed as a name for this currency. If realised, the GCC monetary union would be the second largest supranational monetary union in the world, measured by GDP of the common-currency area.
This area has some of the fastest growing economies in the world, mostly due to a boom in oil and natural gas revenues coupled with a building and investment boom backed by decades of saved petroleum revenues. In an effort to build a tax base and economic foundation before the reserves run out, the UAE's investment arms, including Abu Dhabi Investment Authority, retain over $900 billion in assets. Other regional funds also have several hundreds of billions dollars of assets under management.
The region is also an emerging hotspot for events, including the 2006 Asian Games in Doha, Qatar. Doha also submitted an unsuccessful application for the 2016 Summer Olympic Games. Qatar was later chosen to host the 2022 FIFA World Cup.
Recently[when?], the leaders of the Council have come under fire for doing too little to combat the economic downturn. While GCC countries were among the first hit — and the first to respond to the crisis — their programs have been prone to disparities. Recovery plans have been criticized for crowding out the private sector, failing to set clear priorities for growth, failing to restore weak consumer and investor confidence, and undermining long-term stability.
The logo of the GCC consists of two concentric circles. On the upper part of the larger circle, the Bismillah phrase is written in Arabic and on the lower part the Council's full name, in Arabic. The inner circle contains an embossed hexagonal shape representing the Council's six member countries. The inside of the hexagon is filled by a map encompassing the Arabian Peninsula, on which the areas of the member countries are shown in brown.
Patent Office 
The GCC Patent Office was approved in 1992 and established soon after in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Applications are filed and prosecuted in the Arabic language before the GCC Patent Office in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, which is a separate office from the Saudi Arabian Patent Office. A GCC Patent cannot co-exist with a national application in any of the member states, therefore, a national application must be relinquished within 90 days of filing the GCC Patent Application.
Common market 
A GCC common market was launched on 1 January 2008. The common market grants national treatment to all GCC firms and citizens in any other GCC country, and in doing so removes all barriers to cross country investment and services trade. A customs union was declared in 2003, but practical implementation has lagged behind. Indeed, shortly afterwards, Bahrain concluded a separate Free Trade Agreement with the US, in effect cutting through the GCC's agreement, and causing much friction.
Monetary Council 
|This section is outdated. (December 2011)|
On 15 December 2009, Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar and Saudi Arabia announced the creation of a Monetary Council, a step toward establishing a shared currency. The board of the council, which will set a timetable for establishing a joint central bank and choose a currency regime, will meet for the first time on 30 March 2010. Kuwaiti Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed Sabah al-Salem al-Sabah said on 8 December 2009 that a single currency may take up to 10 years to establish. The original target was in 2010. Oman and the UAE later announced their withdrawal of the proposed currency until further notice.
Peninsula Shield Force 
- 1 April 2011 – present, Abdullatif bin Rashid Al Zayani, Bahrain
Member States 
There are six member states of the Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf (CCASG) (Gulf Cooperation Council, GCC).
||Official name (English)||Official name (Arabic)||Type of government|
|Bahrain||Kingdom of Bahrain||Mamlakat al-Baḥrayn||Constitutional monarchy|
|Kuwait||State of Kuwait||Dawlat al-Kuwayt||Constitutional monarchy|
|Oman||Sultanate of Oman||Salṭanat ʻUmān||Absolute monarchy|
|Qatar||State of Qatar||Dawlat Qaṭar||Constitutional monarchy|
|Saudi Arabia||Kingdom of Saudi Arabia||Al-Mamlaka al-ʻArabiyya as-Suʻūdiyya||Absolute monarchy|
|UAE||United Arab Emirates||Al-Imārāt al-‘Arabīyah al-Muttaḥidah||Federal monarchy (elective de jure, hereditary de facto)|
Macro-economic trend 
|Year||GDP (in millions)||GDP per capita
(as % of US)
Related states 
At the December 2012 Manama summit the GCC states called for an end to Iranian interference in their internal affairs.
The associate membership of Iraq in certain GCC-related institutions was discontinued after the invasion of Kuwait. The GCC states have announced that they support the document of The International Compact with Iraq that was adopted at Sharm El-Sheikh on 4–5 May 2007. It calls for regional economic integration with the neighboring states. Currently, many observers think that there is a very low possibility of Iraqi accession to the GCC, but this could change in the future as Iraq develops the production of its oil resources.
Yemen is (currently[update]) in negotiations for GCC membership, and hopes to join by 2015. Although it has no coastline on the Persian Gulf, Yemen is on the Arabian peninsula and shares a common culture and history with other members of the GCC. The GCC has already approved Yemen's accession to the GCC Standardization Authority, Gulf Organization for Industrial Consultancy, GCC Auditing and Accounting Authority, Gulf Radio and TV Authority, GCC Council of Health Ministers, GCC Education and Training Bureau, GCC Council of Labour and Social Affairs Ministers, and Gulf Cup Football Tournament. The Council issued directives that all the necessary legal measures be taken so that Yemen would have the same rights and obligations of GCC member states in those institutions.
Jordan and Morocco 
In May 2011, Jordan's request to join the GCC, which had been first submitted 15 years earlier, was accepted and Morocco was invited to join the union. In September 2011 a five year economic plan for both countries was put forward after a meeting between the foreign ministers of both countries and those of the GCC States, the first GCC meeting since May which included the Jordanian and Moroccan ministers. Although a plan for accession was being looked into, it was noted that there was no timetable for either's accession, and that discussions would continue.
As Jordan and Morocco are the only two Arab monarchies not currently in the council, the current members see them as strong potential allies. Jordan borders member Saudi Arabia and is economically connected to the Gulf States. Although Morocco is not near the gulf, the Moroccan foreign minister Taeib Fassi Fihri notes that "geographical distance is no obstacle to a strong relationship".
Related organizations 
The GCC members and Yemen are also members of the Greater Arab Free Trade Area (GAFTA). However, this is unlikely to significantly affect the agenda of the GCC as it has a more aggressive timetable than GAFTA and is seeking greater integration.
See also 
- Arab Cooperation Council
- Peninsula Shield
- Arab states of the Persian Gulf
- Iran-Arab relations
- US - Middle East Free Trade Area (US-MEFTA)
- Euro-Mediterranean free trade area (EU-MEFTA)
- Council of Arab Economic Unity (CAEU)
- Khaleeji (currency) (proposed).
- Gulf Railway
- Middle East economic integration
- Alsharif, Asma (2011-05-10). "1-Gulf bloc to consider Jordan, Morocco membership". Reuters. Retrieved 2011-05-10.
- "Saudi Arabia Seeks Union of Monarchies in Region." The New York Times, 14 May 2012.
- Black, Ian (14 May 2012). "Gulf unity plan on hold amid Iranian warning". The Guardian. Retrieved 18 May 2012.
- "Gulf Cooperation Council". Deutsch Federal Foreign Office. Retrieved 31 August 2012.
- The GCC Monetary Union: Choice of Exchange Rate Regime (PDF). Washington DC: Peterson Institute for International Economics. April 2009. Retrieved 11 May 2009.
- Sturm, Michael; Siegfried, Nikolaus (June 2005). Regional Monetary Integration in the Member States of the Gulf Cooperation Council (PDF). Frankfurt am Main, Germany: European Central Bank. ISSN 1725-6534. Occasional Paper Series, No. 31. Retrieved 11 May 2009.
- Abed, George T. (1 April 2003). The GCC Monetary Union: Some Considerations for the Exchange Rate Regime (PDF). Washington DC, USA: International Monetary Fund (IMF). ISSN 1934-7073. Working Paper No. 03/66. Retrieved 11 May 2009.
- Gulf Currency
- Ibrahim Saif; Farah Choucair (14 May 2009). "Arab Countries Stumble in the Face of Growing Economic Crisis". Carnegie Endowment. Retrieved 19 April 2013.
- "GCC Patent Office page of the GCC website". Retrieved 2008-02-12.[dead link]
- Arab Times :: GCC states to launch joint market today
- "Kuwait naval units join Bahrain mission ... ‘Plot foiled’". Arab Times. Retrieved 2012-08-31.
- (ABC News Australia)
- Gulf forces intervene in Bahrain after violent clashes
- "Bishara, Abdullah". Rulers. Retrieved 16 March 2013.
- "Profile". ECSSR. Retrieved 11 April 2013.
- Malcolm C. Peck (12 April 2010). The A to Z of the Gulf Arab States. Scarecrow Press. p. 111. ISBN 978-0-8108-7636-1. Retrieved 11 April 2013.
- Toumi, Habib (29 November 2009). "Oman endorses Al Mutawa". Gulf News. Retrieved 11 April 2013.
- Yahoo! "GCC discusses economic plan for Jordan, Morocco". 11 September 2011. Retrieved 18 September 2011.
- "GCC states slam Iran interference in region."
- GCC statement on media cooperation[dead link]
- See Political Affairs
- Yemen to join GCC by 2015
- See the Closing Statement of the Twenty-Second Session GCC the Final Communiqué of the 29th Session
- Jordan, Morocco to join [P]GCC
- Mu Xuequan (11 May 2011). "GCC welcomes Jordan's request to join the council". Xinhua. Retrieved 19 September 2011.
- Al-Rantawi, Oraib (17 July 2011). "GCC membership may be a burden on Jordan’s security". Retrieved 26 June 2012.