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Nidal Abou Zaki Nidal Abou Zaki

GCC Economies to Grow 14,51 Percent This Year

The nominal gross domestic product (GDP) of the six Gulf countries, which together constituted about 60 percent of the total Arab region’s GDP in 2020, is projected to return to positive growth this year.

Figures from the new ‘GCC Countries Macroeconomic Indicators 2021’ report revealed that the region’s economies will witness a significant increase of 14,51 percent this year.  The report was released by Orient Planet Research (OPR), the market research unit of the Orient Planet Group (OPG), in partnership with information and communications technology (ICT) expert and independent researcher Abdul Kader Al Kamli.

 Citing the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) projections, the report noted an economic turnaround for the GCC, estimating that the region’s 2021 nominal GDP will be worth USD1,61 trillion from 2020’s USD1,41 trillion. The region experienced negative nominal GDP growth of 14,18 per cent in 2020 after reeling from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent steep oil price decline.

 Nidal Abou Zaki, managing director, OPG, said, “GCC economies will experience growth this year, with the same trend carrying over until 2022. The continuous rollout of the member countries’ COVID-19 vaccine programmes, coupled with their economic diversification and sustainability policies, will be fundamental to their fast recovery and resiliency. Additionally, expectations of sustained increase in global oil demand, improving consumer demand and gradual but steady resumption of key economic activities, including in the tourism and hospitality sectors, will fuel their overall positive growth.”

 The new report also showed uneven individual growth estimates for all Gulf nations. Saudi Arabia is seen this year to register a high nominal GDP increase of 14,75 percent amounting to USD805 billion from 2020’s USD 01 billion. The Kingdom is largely dependent on its oil-based economy, accounting for about 20 percent of the world’s oil reserves. It is also the only Arab country that is a part of G20, an economic forum consisting of 20 of the world’s largest economies, including the European Union.

 The UAE is estimated to rise 13,33 percent to USD402 billion this year from the 2020’s USD354 billion. The same upward projection has been made for Qatar (13,65 percent), Kuwait (17,60 percent), Oman (17,29 percent), and Bahrain (10,62 percent).  During the period, Qatar’s nominal GDP growth, as per the report, will amount to USD166 billion; Kuwait, USD127 billion; Oman, USD74 billion; and Bahrain, USD38 billion.