Efforts made by the GCC states to diversify their economies are complementary rather than competing in the bloc, as the region continues to post strong growth, officials said at the World Economic Forum on Tuesday.
The six-member bloc, which has a gross domestic product of $2.3 trillion a year, is moving towards being a $3 trillion GDP per annum economic zone by 2030, rising to $6 trillion by 2050, said Sheikh Salman bin Khalifa Al Khalifa, Bahrain’s Minister of Finance and National Economy.
Sheikh Salman was speaking during a panel discussion in Davos moderated by media‘s editor-in-chief, Mina Al-Oraibi.
“The [overall] pie currently is growing so fast that competition is not even on the table,” he said.
“Everybody’s trying to grow their service sectors, grow their participation, grow their GDP, and there’s a lot of synergistic benefits.”
Sheikh Salman gave the example of tourism, where countries are involved in joint marketing, supporting the region as a whole.
“Growth across the region is being driven by sound policy, excellent execution and by making sure that we are simplifying doing business and a very rapid decision making process,” he said.
“And we are seeing the results.”
His point was echoed by Qatar’s Minister of Finance, Ali bin Ahmed Al Kuwari.
“The pie is growing. I don’t think we compete, we complement each other,” Mr Al Kuwari told the panel. “This is what we see.”
The GCC is expected to post growth of 3.6 per cent and 3.7 per cent in 2024 and 2025, the World Bank said in November.
That is much higher than the lender’s forecast of 2.4 per cent growth globally for this year.