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Thu 11 Oct 2007 10:12 AM

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GCC to break down borders with common market

Gulf Arab block to announce formation of common market at GCC summit, official says.

The GCC is to announce the formation of a common market at the end of the year that will give citizens of the six member states the same economic rights in each country, the GCC secretary-general has said.

In comments published in Kuwaiti daily Al-Siyassah on Wednesday, Abdul Rahman Al-Attiyah said the announcement will be made at the upcoming GCC summit in December, to be held in Qatar’s capital Doha, reported newswire AP.

Under the agreement, Gulf citizens will have the same rights in areas such as ownership of real estate, stock, capital movement, taxation, pensions and social security, according to the newswire.

The formation of a common market is part of a push by Gulf Arab states to foster closer economic and political ties.

The GCC, which includes the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar and Oman, is also aiming for a monitory union and single currency by 2010, although it is looking increasingly unlikely this deadline will be met.

The UAE’s central bank governor last week admitted the GCC is unlikely to have a single currency by 2015.