An extraordinary meeting of the Gulf Cooperation Council was held to discuss the Council’s transformation into a union – be it a federation or confederation; an agreement has yet been reached regarding which form that union would take.

Among the justifications used to promote the idea of a union  is the fact that the GCC countries are capable of becoming “an economic force that controls the most important source of energy in the world, with a Gross Domestic Product of more than 1.4 trillion dollars in 2011 – representing more than half of all Arab economic activity combined.

“The GCC countries possess official cash reserves valued at close to 630 billion dollars, and foreign investments equal to approximately 2 trillion dollars, including assets in sovereign wealth funds. In addition, the GCC has a trade volume currently valued at 1 trillion dollars, compared to 261 billion in the year 2000. The countries also attract foreign investments worth 300 billion dollars, and export more than 15 million barrels of oil per day.” (Information taken verbatim from official Saudi sources).


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