The unified economic agreement between the countries of the GC Council signed on Nov 1981 in Riyadh
The GCC Patent Office was approved in 1992
A GCC common market launched on January 1, 2008
All GCC members and Yemen have since joined the Greater Arab Free Trade Area (GAFTA) when that organization was founded
Yemen is (currently) in negotiations for GCC membership, and hopes to join by 2016.
Map Indicating CCASG Members Official languages Arabic Type Trade bloc Membership Arab states of the Persian Gulf Leaders Secretary-General Abdul Rahman Ibn Hamad Al-Attiyah Establishment As the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) May 25, 1981 Population Estimate 40,338,196 GDP (nominal) Estimate T otal $1,103,235 million Per capita $22,083
Key indicators Name Capital Inhabitants Sq km GDP (mil. US$) Currency Bahrain Manama 1.046.814 716 15.354 Bahrain Dinar Qatar Doha 1.307.229 11.437 52.722 Qatari Riyal Kuwait Kuwait City 2.460.000 17.818 95.924 Kuwaiti Dinar Oman Muscat 2.534.000 309.500 35.990 Omani Rial Saudi Arabia Riyadh 26.417.599 2.240.000 572.200 Saudi Riyal United Arab Emirates Abu Dhabi 4.588.697 83.600 163.296 UAE Dirham
Formulating similar regulations in various fields of economy, finance, trade, customs, tourism, legislation and administration
Fostering scientific and technical progress in industry, mining, agriculture, water and animal resources
Establishing scientific research centers
Setting up joint ventures
Encouraging cooperation of the private sector
Strengthening ties between their peoples
Establishing a common currency by 2010
Business practice and culture Business week - Saturday to Thursday Weekend holiday – Friday Working hours: Govt. - 7:30 am to 2:30 pm (Sat-Wed) Private - 8 am to 1 pm and 4 pm to 7 pm (Sat- Wed) - 8 am to 1 30 pm (Thurs.) Climate - 35 to 45 °C in summer - 18 to 28 °C in winter Time zone - + 4 hrs GMT Topography - Mountainous with over 1700 kms of coastline
Business practice and culture Religion - Islam, Other religions are tolerated. way of life is governed by Islamic customs Petroleum reserve - 5.5 million barrels Natural gas - Reserves 29 trillion cubic feet Minerals - Copper mining up to 20,000 tons a year Chromate estimated at about 2 million tons Possible exploration of gold, platinum, sulphides and coal Official language - Arabic (English is widely used and understood)
Foreign companies can set up business or Industries in by establishing a Limited Liability Company with a minimum capital of US$ 390,000
They can own up to 70% of the share capital in the company and the other 30% is to be owned by GCC entities
Foreign participation is encouraged in all the major sectors of the economy
100% foreign participation is possible with a minimum paid-up capital of US$ 1.3 billion / with the prior approval of the council of ministers
To establish an LLC (Limited Liability Company)
with foreign participation, an applicant must prepare a shareholders agreement setting forth the intentions of the parties
Applicant then must file a constitutive contract signed by all the members, in a prescribed format, in Arabic with Ministry of commerce and industry (MOCI)
The formation of the company is completed when all the shares are fully paid up and the company is registered in the commercial register
Be aware of all favors done for you and prepare to respond in kind.
People are courteous, polite and the traditional Arab forms of greetings are widely observed
Being Muslim country, visitors should respect local customs.
Avoid unintentional criticism of others
Alcohol consumptions in public other than licensed places are prohibited
Careful attention has to be paid to ensure that one do not offend local customs particularly in relation to dress code and alcohol consumption
Establishing a company
Registration procedures –
Before business entities start their business in GCC Countries they must be registered in the commercial register of the MOCI
Time required –
The time required to establish a company depends on the extent of foreign participation
Registration and licensing requirements normally takes between 4-5weeks
STAGES FOR SETTING UP AN ENTERPRISE IN GCC Stages Objective Action Plan Anticipated risks and hurdles End Result Stage:1 Familiarity with GCC Find a right partner Non availability of complete information One location Stage:2 Demand analysis Get to know more about the production facilities Demand potential and other player’s strengths Sure of succeeding Stage:3 Understand legal formalities and agreements Appoint specialists to draft Terms are favorable to local partners Get ready to setup Stage:4 Locate and setup Right kinds of people (technical and managerial) Possible resistance if Indian bosses are appointed Production at low costs Stage:5 Markets – local & outside Develop interior markets and network out of GCC Local tariff and non-tariff barriers in provinces Reduced cost and competitiveness
Once the business activity is identified, the following steps leads to the establishment of company
1 . Identify the GCC partner.
2. Prepare a shareholders agreement setting forth the intentions of
Apply for a trade name from the Ministry of Commerce & Industry
Obtain Industrial license/environment clearance or a No objection
certificate from the concerned department, if required; or approval of the Ministry of Higher Education in the case of setting-up educational institutions. For normal trading activity this may not be applicable.
Approach the various Government-owned Industrial estates for
allotment of land and factory buildings.
Open bank account in the name of the company under formation
and ensure that the amount of RO 150,000/ (US$ 390,000) is
deposited to facilitate the issue of
Once the business activity is identified, the following steps leads to the establishment of company
7. Apply to MOCI for obtaining Commercial registration.
8. Apply for the Chamber of Commerce certification.
Identifying and registering the lease agreements with the
Municipal office for
setting office and name boards.
10. Apply for Import license from MOCI if goods are required to
11. Apply to Ministry of Manpower for labour clearances, if
expatriate employees are required.
12. Apply for employment visa for expatriate workers on the
basis of labour clearances.
13. Apply for labour cards/ Residency permits once the employee
enters the country.
Documents required for registration of a company in the commercial register
a. Power of Attorney issued to the person authorized to sign on behalf of the companies abroad and a copy of the ID card / passport copy.
b. Certificate from the local bank stating that the company under formation has deposited the required amount in their account showing clearly the percentage of contribution amount by each of the members/partners.
c. In the case of a foreign company, a Letter of Guarantee is required from the Head office stating that it is responsible for all liabilities in particular country. e g: oman
d. Board resolution of investing companies to the extent of their share-holding and amount of investment.
Charter documents of the companies like the Memorandum and Articles of Association and business licenses, if the investor is a company.
The passport copy of the individual, if the investor is not a company.
Entry visas & work permit –
All foreigners (except GCC nationals) should have a valid entry visa.
Foreigners on business visits are generally issued visit visas at the airport, valid usually for one month. Express visas are also issued before-hand and are valid for 3 weeks.
Multiple entry visas are also issued for one year but the stay each time should not exceed 3 weeks and there should be a gap of three weeks between each visit.
Employment visas are usually valid for 2 years and are issued on the basis of Labour clearances granted to the employers.
Holders of employment visas are issued Labour cards and Residency permits.
Fee structure –
The statutory fees for setting-up companies – For a company with registered capital of RO. 150,000 (US $ 390,000), is not likely to exceed US $1,200.
Each expatriate labour clearance will cost approx. US$ 560 including the fee for labour and residency card and is issued for a period of 2 years which is to be renewed thereafter for a similar period.
The rent for a 3-room apartment in a moderately good locality will approx. range from US$ 500-1000.
Business organizations should file a provisional return of income with advance tax
• No personal Income tax.
• Income tax is currently charged on business entities with up to 70% foreign
participation @ 12%, if the profit exceeds the basic exemption limit of US$
• For business enterprises with more than 70% foreign participation and branches
of foreign companies, tax rate ranges from 5% to 30% (for eg. tax is charged @
30% on the entire profit, if it exceeds US$ 260,000).
• All business entities having a commercial registration have to file business
particulars with the income tax department.
• Exemptions from income tax for 5 Years is granted .in respect of income of
industries and fisheries sector which can be extended for another five years.
• Income generated by higher educational institutions and private hospitals will be
completely tax free.
• Custom duty is charged @ 5 % on imports on most of the items
• Tender board registration is a must for Government contracts in excess of US$ 260,000.
• Business entities having banking facilities of more than US$ 650,000/ should submit audited balance sheet to the bank within four months of the year end to avoid freezing of bank accounts.
• Public Listed companies should audit the accounts and conduct annual general meeting within 3 months from the year end and should comply with corporate governance practices.
• Expatriates should not be employed unless and until a labour clearance is obtained from the ministry of manpower
• One cannot commence business without obtaining the commercial registration chamber certificate and municipal certificate
• Financial reports to be prepared in accordance with nternational Accounting Standards.
TYPES OF ORGANISATIONLS IN GENERAL
Business may be carried out in GCC in a variety of forms .
1. Sole proprietorships
2. General partnership
3. Limited partnership
4. Joint venture
5. Limited liability company (LLC)
6. Public joint stock company
7. Closed joint stock company
8. Holding company
9. Foreign companies
• Branches – Branches of foreign companies may engage only in the following
- Carry out government contracts.
- Conduct business declared by the council of ministers to be vital to the
10. Foreign commercial representative offices – these offices engaged in trade,
industry and service sectors may not import, export or sell its products but can
promote products or services.
Facilities and incentives offered by the Government
• Planned and serviced plots are provided for industries in the
• Ready built factories 25 years (renewable)
• Electricity US$ 0.06/ KW/H
• Exemption from Customs duty is allowed on Raw materials, Plant & machinery and spares imported for industrial production
• Local Products are given 10% advantage over imported goods on Government purchases
• Oman is the only country in the whole of GCC which has its
own National credit guarantee agency
• Foreigners can own properties in designated areas for a lease period of 99 years
Reasons For Doing Business In GCC
Foreign investment into the UAE hit a high of $19.4 billion in the past three years
Foreign direct investments (FDI) during 2005-2007 were more than eight times the FDI flow into the GCC during the previous nine years
MARKET OPPORTUNITIES :
Construction & Industry: Sharjah plans huge egg production plant
Technology: HP brings touch technology home
Transportation: $4.5bn Terminal 3 to open
India’s Export to the GCC:
Basmati/Non-basmati rice, tea, manmade yarn, fabrics, made-ups, cotton yarn, primary and semi-finished iron and steel, chemicals, plastic and linoleum products, machinery and instruments.
India’s Major Import from the GCC:
Petroleum and petrochemical products like LPG, kerosene and others. Saudi Arabia is the largest supplier of crude oil to India .
Infrastructure in GCC
Infrastructure construction plays a key role
Government is actually a partner in providing infrastructure
$1.5 trillion is the likely total GCC expenditure on infrastructure for the next decade
GCC infrastructure spending will be 12 times higher than the US and 94 times higher than in India
Foreign lenders had increased interest in long-term infrastructure projects in the Middle East
There are further 300$ billion worth of projects either planned or under construction in Dubai
Infrastructure in GCC
Dubai has shown the way in developing its ports and infrastructure.
Phone, satellite, internet, systems are readily available in Special Economic Zones.
Air-- Service available from both local domestic carriers and most international airlines .
Ocean-- Large number of ports and harbours handling booming export trade.
Roads, Highways & Railways have good speed limits.
Opportunities in Major sectors
Transportation service :
Logistics services represent the nerve of Gulf and international businesses
Transport and logistics services are central to regional trade and to the exchange of goods and services
GCC States today is the building of road networks, harbors, airports and state-of-the-art transportation networks
Gross Domestic Product (GDP) reaching approximately 750 billion USD in 2007, double the amount recorded five years ago. ( Potential for opportunity )
Tourism and Related Services
GCC Countries are the exporter and importer of travel services amongst the developing countries
Ministry of Tourism of GCC has adopted a number of measures to facilitate tourists
The governments of both countries is providing greater facilitation for enterprises of the counterpart to start business operations
The two countries are working together to promote and developed health tourism
Construction and Consultancy Services
India has considerable experience in the field of civil construction, engineering and manufacturing operations
This provides increased growth opportunities through Joint Ventures and Consortiums
With $700 billion worth of developments either under way or in the pipeline, the GCC is now the world’s largest finance market
GCC seeks to forge a stronger and more diversified economic future in construction
Accounting, Auditing and Consulting Services
In GCC Countries there is a huge demand of accountants, auditors and consulting advisors with rich knowledge in international trade practices
Under the multi-lateral trade system of GCC Countries, enterprises of India can provide such services to GCC Countries through cross-border supply or commercial presence
Total health-care spending in the region will reach US $60billion in 2025, up from US$12 billion today
The model projects follows by GCC :
GCC has tied up with Graffiti Marketing Communications, one of Kuwait's leading ad agencies in order to strategically join hands to provide better services in terms of brand development
Growing consumerism in GCC has led to an increased demand for advertising services in terms of brand building and marketing.
Indian advertising industry is very well developed and can provide English-speaking trained manpower in advertising firms or can collaborate with existing firms in GCC to provide these services
This would benefit the GCC industry and give Indian industry exposure to the GCC market
The setting up of Knowledge Village, located in Dubai, UAE is one step towards fulfilling learning and training requirements
“ KV” offers many gateways to obtain higher education in the fields of business, IT, Graphics design and even Medicine
Arabian Gulf University located in Bahrain offers a Post-Graduate Diploma and Master Degrees, Scientific Research