(MENAFN - Arab News) The five-day gcc joint exhibition and businessmen forum began at sharjah expo center with huge participation of saudi arabia.
the event is promoted jointly by all gcc member states with a view to catalyzing trade within the region.
the event which was opened by sharjah deputy ruler sheikh abdullah bin salem al-qasimi and uae economy minister sultan bin saeed al mansouri has also attracted a number of participants from qatar oman kuwait and the uae.
'organizing this exhibition reflects our commitment to promote mutual cooperation and economic integration among the gcc players" al-mansouri told arab news during his tour.
the exhibition features more than 200 exhibitors from across the gulf region.
more than 39 companies from saudi arabia are taking part in the event.
the uae has lined up around 70 participants under the umbrella of the ministry of economy.
the event is being held at a time when trade within gulf countries registered a growth of 5.5 percent during 2013 to 93 billion from nearly 88 billion in 2012. the figure stood at 85 billion in 2011 against only 6 billion in 1984.
ministry of commerce & industry saudi industrial property authority (modon) sagia (the saudi arabian general investment authority) saudi exports development authority saudi exports program and ministry of culture are some of the prominent participants from saudi arabia.
'gulf cooperation council has witnessed noteworthy achievements and the creation of the council continues to be a leading global experience and a distinctive step" al-mansouri said in his speech.
'we reaffirm our commitment to promoting cooperation between the gcc countries to achieve the desired social and economic integration that supports the interests of the gcc countries and their people" he added.
along with delegates from gcc countries sheikh abdullah bin salem al-qasimi and al-mansouri toured to different sections after the opening ceremony.
'this event emphasizes the vital role of gulf businessmen in the economic growth of the gcc countries. the private sector including investors manufacturers and traders play a key role in the promotion of the gcc economic integration especially with its contribution to the gdp of the six countries registering a steady and significant increase" said al-mansouri.
'the importance of events like this increases manifold in view of the tremendous boost it can provide to trade exchanges within the gcc states" said saif mohammed al-midfa ceo expo center sharjah
'gcc countries have emphasized the need for achieving economic integration with the gulf common market and the customs union regarded as key goals in this regard" he added.
the opening day of the event featured a conference on 'deepening economic integration among gulf countries.' the segment examined the private sector's perspective on economic cooperation among the gcc countries and its views on economic integration.