UAE still looking at single currency

Minister of Economy Sultan bin Saeed Al Mansouri (FILE)

The UAE would like to see all Gulf oil exporters agree on a single currency within a landmark monetary union launched by four of them early this year, the country’s minister of economy was reported on Sunday as saying.

Sultan Al Mansouri said the heads of state of the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) would discuss the monetary union when they hold their annual summit in Abu Dhabi on Tuesday.

“We in the UAE believe in our common destiny in the Gulf region whether economically, politically or socially… we are one people and our leaders have their own views which are always wise and we respect them,” Mansouri told the Saudi Arabic language daily Aleqtisadiah.

“I am looking forward to the day when we, as the GCC people, will have a single currency… I believe such issues have to be discussed at the GCC summit… there should be an evaluation of this matter and how to reach a compromise.”

The UAE quit the GCC monetary union in 2009 because of the selection of Riyadh as the headquarters of the planned Gulf Central Bank and other issues related to the functioning of the currency project. Oman pulled out in late 2007 on the grounds it is not ready yet, leaving the other four members - Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Kuwait and Qatar - to push ahead with the union.

But the UAE has remained within the GCC customs union and common market - two other landmark projects launched by the six members over the past few years in line with their historic economic pact signed two years after they created their economic, political and defence alliance in Abu Dhabi in1981.

“The next GCC summit will give a strong push to the GCC economy as it will cover many issues that are important to the region’s leaders and people,” Mansouri said in the interview, to be published in full later.


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