GCC Chambers call for more comprehensive aid package

March 17th, 2009 - 12:04 pm ICT by ANI  

Nicosia, Mar 17 (ANI): The Federation of Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Chambers of Commerce and Industry have urged the governments of the six states to adopt a more comprehensive aid package aiming to stimulate growth and reduce the effects of the global financial crisis on businesses in the Gulf region.
The Emirates Business wrote on Monday that according to a study it had obtained, the Chambers expected the crisis to spread to other sectors in addition to oil, banks and construction.
“The private sector has started to suffer on many fronts, whether in terms of a sharp slowdown in business or lower exports and government funding,” the study said.
The Chambers call on GCC governments to adopt urgent rescue plans to stimulate growth and tackle the repercussions of the crisis, so that they the business sector of the Gulf may get out of the crisis with minimum losses.
“Such plans could save hundreds of GCC companies and institutions from possible bankruptcy, threatening the jobs and living standards of tens of thousands of citizens,” the study pointed out.
GCC countries growth is expected to average 3.6 per cent this year, down from an initial estimate of 5.6 per cent due to the global economic crisis.
Several financial institutions in the Gulf region have suffered heavy losses and a big number of construction projects have been postponed.
The decline is expected to have a direct effect on their current account surplus, which in 2008 reached a peak at 400 billion dollars, but by the end of this year it may turn into a deficit of 30 billion dollars if the average price of oil averaged 40 dollars, the study said. (ANI)

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