GCC: Introduction

The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) is also known as the Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf (CCASG‎). It is a political and economic union of the Arab states bordering the Persian Gulf and constituting the Arabian Peninsula. The six member states of the union are Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and United Arab Emirates and they are often referred to as “The GCC States.”  The unified economic agreement between these countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council was signed on November 11, 1981, in Abu Dhabi.

Some of the stated objectives of the GCC are:

• Formulating similar regulations in various fields such as economy, 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

The name Khaleeji (meaning Gulf in Arabic) has been proposed as a name for the union’s common currency. When realized, the GCC monetary union would be the third monetary union in the world in terms of GDP, after 1) the Euro area, and 2) the unofficial monetary union between the United States and the Latin American countries that have declared the US dollar as their currency.

Number of Member Countries: 6
Headquarters: Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
Region(s): Middle East
Founding Document: The Economic Agreement
Composition: Plurilateral
Coverage: Goods & Services, Military
Date Signed: November 11, 1981
Entry Into Force: December 1, 1981
Website: GCC


Abed, George T.; Erbas, S. Nuri; Guerami, Behrouz. “The GCC Monetary Union: Some Considerations for the Exchange Rate Regime,” International Monetary Fund Working Paper No. 03.66, April 1, 2003. 

China FTA Network: China-GCC FTA

Official GCC Website

European Free Trade Association: Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC)

Government of Dubai and Dubai Export Development Corporation: GCC and EFTA Free Trade Agreement

Government of Dubai and Dubai Export Development Corporation: GCC and Singapore Free Trade Agreement

Gulf News - Business

New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade: New Zealand-Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Free Trade Agreement

Reuters: Gulf bloc to consider Jordan, Morocco membership

Singapore Government: Overview of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GFSTA)

Sturm, Michael; Siegried, Nikolaus. "Regional Monetary Integration in the Member States of the Gulf Cooperation Council," European Central Bank Occasional Paper Series No. 31, June 2005.