GCC emerges as economic powerhouse: CBB official


“The present decade has seen a remarkable increase in GCC member states’ GDP in both nominal and per capita terms. In 2001, the combined GDP of the six GCC members was $ 332 billion. By 2006 nominal GDP had reached $ 712 billion, the increase of our GDP during this period was more than 100 percent or $ 380 billion in absolute terms,” Sheikh Salman bin Isa Al-Khalifa, director banking operations at the CBB, told the participants of Hedge Funds Middle East Summit being held in Bahrain.

“In the space of just five years, an economy the size of Sweden was added to the GCC in terms of aggregate output. Since then the GCC has grown still further and now represents an economy of over $ 1 trillion, comparable in size to the economies of Canada or Spain,” he added.

“In per capita terms GDP for the GCC as a whole increased by 30 percent between 2001 and 2008. Bahrain experienced the strongest growth of 42 percent,” he added.

“At the same time, population growth in the GCC was significant, increasing at 3 percent on average per annum in the same period. This population growth represents both a comparatively high birthrate in the region and an inflow of expatriate labor in the wake of the economic boom,” he said.


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