2001 News Story

GCC's proposed common currency requires planning

Secretary-General of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) commented today that achieving a single currency for the member states requires a realistic work-plan and lengthy discussions due to the sensitivity of the issue and its implications. The GCC financial and economic cooperation committee, together with the monetary institutions and central banks involved, are preparing a proposal to be presented to the GCC Summit scheduled for late 2001 in Muscat, Oman. Such a work-plan, he said, involves lowering and equalizing the deficit percentage in the various budgets, standardizing interest levels and coordinating taxation policies. The Secretary-General praised the cooperation that exists among the GCC monetary institutions in the areas of monitoring commercial banks, particularly the decisions to link automated teller machines (ATMs), and to allow commercial banks to open branches in other GCC states.