The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) was formed in 1981 to create economic, scientific and business cooperation among its oil-exporting members. These Middle East countries share the common faith of Islam, an Arabian culture, and an economic interest separate from OPEC. On a per capita basis, they are among the richest countries in the world. The Gulf Cooperation Council headquarters is in Riyadh, the capital of Saudi Arabia, its largest member.
Together, they supply one third of U.S. oil and own up to $225 billion of U.S. debt. These countries are seeking to diversify their rapidly growing economies away from oil.
List of GCC Countries:
The GCC consists of six members:
1. The Kingdom of Bahrain - Its 1.2 million people enjoy a GDP per capita of $40,500. Its economy grew 4.5% in 2010.
2. Kuwait - Its population is double that of Bahrain. They enjoy the 10th highest standard of living ($48,900 per person). The country holds 9% of the world's oil reserves.
3. The Sultanate of Oman - Its dwindling oil reserves means it's increasingly relying on tourism to improve the lifestyle of its 3 million residents.
4. Qatar - The richest country in the world, with a GDP per capita of $179,000 for its 848,000 residents. It has 25 billion barrels of proven oil reserves and 14% of the world's natural gas reserves.5. The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia - The largest of the GCC countries (26 million people) has 20% of the world's proven oil reserves. Its GDP per capita is only $24,200.
6. The United Arab Emirates (UAE) - Its 5.1 million people enjoy a per capita GDP of $49,600 thanks to a diversifying economy that includes Dubai and the world's tallest building, the Burj Dubai Khalifa.
ECITB is building a strong presence in the region and on 17th March supported Qatar Safety Week, stating “The ECITB is pleased to support Qatar Safety Week. As a leading international training, standards and qualifications organisation for the engineering construction industry, health and safety is at the heart of what we do. The ECITB has led the way in promoting the international safety passport to support companies and organisations in ensuring competence. The Safety Week is an important way in which we can all keep the health and safety agenda at the forefront of our business and operations.” (Dr Tony Featherstone, ECITB Director International and Commercial Operations).