Abu Dhabi, Dec 6 (IANS) The UAE is still looking forward to a unified currency for the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council, Economy Minister Sultan al-Mansouri said.
The UAE, the second-largest Arab economy and the world’s third largest oil exporter, opted out last year of the GCC plans for monetary union, becoming the second country in the six-nation body to withdraw from the drive.
Oman was the first to drop out of the project, saying its economy is not ready yet.
However, Mansouri Sunday gave a glimpse of hope that the UAE could be back on the track of the monetary union talks, reports Xinhua.
‘I look forward that one day there would be a unified currency for the people of the Gulf,’ Mansouri said in an interview with Saudi Arabia’s Aleqtisadiah newspaper.
The minister’s statements came on the eve of the annual summit of the GCC leaders in Abu Dhabi.
‘I think such issues must be raised and discussed at such summit, and there must be an evaluation of the dimension of the issue and how to reach a compromise for all sides,’ the minister told the paper.
In May 2009, the UAE withdrew from the plans in protest of a decision to place the GCC central bank in Saudi Arabia, which the UAE had bid to host from 2004 to 2009.
‘Here in the UAE, we believe that the Gulf states share the same destiny, whether economically, politically, or socially. We are one people,’ he said.
Founded in 1981, the GCC groups Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the UAE.
The six states together hold around 45 percent of the global oil reserves and produce 16 million barrels of crude oil daily.