The six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) will endorse a proposed monetary union agreement at its annual summit to be held in the Omani capital of Muscat in November, the Gulf News newspaper reported Tuesday.
The GCC member states, including Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE), will also announce the setting up of a monetary council at the coming Muscat summit, GCC Secretary General Abdul Rahman Al Attiyah told the newspaper in an interview.
The monetary council is thought of as one step before establishing a GCC central bank which is indispensable for the bloc's proposed monetary union that is expected to come into force in 2010.
Al Attiyah said the timetable to launch the monetary union "will be drawn once the monetary council is announced and its organizational structure and bylaws are finalized."
GCC financial ministers decided in 2001 to set up a monetary union in a bid to boost economic integration within the region.
However, Oman announced in December 2006 that it would not join the single currency by 2010, while Kuwait said in May 2007 that it will peg its currency dinar with a basket of main currencies instead of the U.S. dollar alone, giving a further blow to the bloc's monetary union project.
Established in 1981, GCC is a regional political and economic alliance aimed at enhancing cooperation among its six member countries.