GCC Assistant Secretary-General for Economic Affairs Abdullah Al-Shebli said that the GCC countries are currently studying the completion of economic integration phase in its overall and comprehensive sense after succeeding in three out of four phases and we are just one step away from GCC economic integration, according to the Riyadh-based "Aleqtisadiah" newspaper.
Al-Shebli said the that the GCC countries have accomplished 80 percent of the elements of economic unity which universally comprises four phases which begin with establishment of a free trade zone and culminates in economic unity and in-between the creation of a customs union and a common GCC market.
Al-Shebli who was speaking at the 50th Trade Cooperation Committee meeting yesterday at the GCC General-Secretariat said that the volume of GCC trade has increased by 5.4% in one year alone and doubled 20 times since 1983.
The volume of trade at the time was only $ 5 billion but it reached $ 47 billion in the year 2003 during which the GCC Common Customs Union was established. It continued to increase until it reached $ 92 billion in 2013 and is expected to $ 97 billion in 2014.