Kuwait sees GCC currency union taking up to 10 years

Foreign minister says issuing the new currency 'will take a very long time'.

CURRENCY VIEW: Kuwait sees the Gulf currency process taking up to 10 years.

CURRENCY VIEW: Kuwait sees the Gulf currency process taking up to 10 years.

A single currency for the Gulf Arab states could take 10 years to set up, Kuwait’s Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed Sabah al-Salem al-Sabah said on Tuesday.

“Issuing the currency will take a very long time, that may reach 10 years,” Sheikh Mohammed told parliament in Kuwait City.

The legislature ratified an accord to establish a Gulf monetary council, a step toward the single currency. The pact was approved on the condition that the government submits a law on monetary union before its launch.

The six-member Gulf Cooperation Council agreed in 2001 to create a European Union-style shared currency which would help them to integrate their economies and pursue a monetary policy independent of the US. All the council’s members except Kuwait peg their currencies to the dollar.

Oman pulled out of the project in 2007 and the United Arab Emirates withdrew earlier this year after the Saudi capital Riyadh was selected as the location for the future central bank.

The remaining four states will take at least four years to introduce a single currency, Riyadh-based Banque Saudi Fransi said in an October report. The original target was 2010.

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