of industry from the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) will
attend a major conference later this year in Riyadh in a renewed bid
to attract more foreign investment into the Gulf states and examine
its impact on the private sector.
This comes in
the wake of the introduction of new investment regulations.
direct investment (FDI) that has flowed into GCC countries during the
last decade is small compared to that in countries like China and
their investment climate, the Gulf states can potentially attract more
FDIs and at the same time encourage the repatriation of over SR750
billion GCC capital invested in the US and Europe.
The GCC General
Secretariat announced that the conference will be inaugurated on Oct.
20 and will be attended by a large number of industrialists and
several international organizations. This is part of a more general
plan to unify the industrial policies of the Gulf governments and
promote GCC-made products globally.
More than 7,500
manufacturing units have been set up in the six GCC countries at a
cost of $84 billion, producing 4,000 different products.
According to a
report released by the Gulf Organization for Industrial Consulting (GOIC),
out of $84 billion invested in these units, some $31 billion is
foreign capital, constituting 37 percent of the total.
The report added
that GCC countries will need $11 billion annually to sustain the
present rate of growth in the industrial sector. They will require a
cumulative capital of $154 billion before 2010 to set up various
industrial projects. The six states have already implemented 51
projects out of a total of over 250 proposals so far put forward by
topics to be discussed during the forthcoming GCC conference include
regional and international investment opportunities, new investment
regulations, legal protection, technology transfer and local