There have been quick gains in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) thanks to very positive economic and geopolitical factors in the region. This prosperity ends half-a-decade of struggles to regain the favor and confidence of international investors. With the stabilisation of tensions in Egypt, as well as the establishment of a preliminary agreement with Iran over its nuclear program, there are definite signs of political strength and stability in the Middle Eastern region. This welcome news has been quick to encourage the return of capital and attracted foreign investment, to the Gulf Cooperation Council capital markets.
Political developments in the region, as well as stability and support from high oil prices, have played a significant role in helping the Gulf Cooperation Council markets recover. Moreover, the budget announcement by the UAE and Saudi Arabia, which includes record expenditures; have contributed additional support to the region’s financial markets. Analysts expected that other Gulf Cooperation Council budgets will be similarly laid out, particularly in terms of their long-term strategy for investment. This will demonstrate a unified move forward for the Gulf coalition and provide strength for its members, namely Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates; in the future.
According to the International Monetary Fund, the Gulf Cooperation Council’s markets and investments are expected to see further progress, prosperity and profits in 2014. It has been said that the stability in oil prices will provide a good environment for the wider economy and for the business sector in the region.
As the new global economy continues to take shape, many countries that were not considered “on the radar” in the old world economic stage, are now finding themselves in a position to play an important role in the future; once it hits it’s full stride in the next few years. Oman, is an Arab state in southwest Asia strategically located at the mouth of the Persian Gulf. This region is likely to see their maritime ports benefit greatly, as the global shipping industry restructures it’s sectors and redraws it’s trade routes, according to their vision of instituting bigger and more efficient container vessels. Oman’s Port of Salalah has already seen an increase of 18 per cent in it’s volume of cargo through the first six months of 2013 and experts expect that this trend will continue.
Recently, the Port of Salalah and Virginia International Terminals signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) that will see both sides working together to enhance their business development opportunities and to share some knowledge to the benefit of everyone involved. Back in 2009, the United States and Oman signed the U.S.-Oman free trade agreement (FTA), which was established to allow investors to generate export opportunities as well as strengthen intellectual property rights protection and enforcement among other key advantages.
“Our ports have complementary assets, both in current trade arrangements and geographical positioning, and through this MoU the Port of Salalah and Virginia International Terminals have agreed to explore initiatives to develop these current trade links and connections.”- CEO of Port of Salalah
The Port of Salalah is perfectly situated geographically in that it can effectively serve the emerging economies in the Indian subcontinent, East Africa and MENA/GCC markets and has three direct connections to the United States’ eastern coast. Oman’s biggest port can offer businesses and shipping companies speedy access to both high-growth and developed markets along the super-busy Asia-Europe trade maritime route. This certainly gives the Arab nation some big advantages on their competition and as the global economy grows into it’s potential, it looks like Oman could play a pivotal role in more ways than one.
It seems that almost every month there is a new free trade agreement being signed to encourage economic prosperity in many different countries around the world. The U.S.-Oman FTA has been in effect for some time now but has not yet been fully implemented and explored to generate all it’s intended benefits. This should be considered a good sign that positive things are indeed happening in the U.S. economy. Since 2009, the world’s biggest consumer market has been struggling to pay creditors and has had little opportunity to re-build the economy and prepare for the future. Luckily for U.S. officials and investors, Oman is right in the middle of all the appealing emerging markets in the east. This presents a number of profitable opportunities for the United States to reinvigorate their lifeless economic growth rate.