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Updated by Douglas Johnson on Sep 15, 2017
Headline for GCC | Economies by Size
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GCC | Economies by Size

GDP may be the king of all economic data. Here I rank the six-member GCC by output (2013 estimates on purchasing power parity basis), along with proposed member states. Data and all comments from CIA World Factbook.

1

Saudi Arabia at $927.8 Billion

Saudi Arabia at $927.8 Billion

Saudi Arabia has an oil-based economy with strong government controls over major economic activities. It possesses about 16% of the world's proven petroleum reserves, ranks as the largest exporter of petroleum, and plays a leading role in OPEC. The petroleum sector accounts for roughly 80% of budget revenues, 45% of GDP, and 90% of export earnings.

2

UAE at $269.8 Billion

UAE at $269.8 Billion

The UAE has an open economy with a high per capita income and a sizable annual trade surplus. Successful efforts at economic diversification have reduced the portion of GDP based on oil and gas output to 25%. Since the discovery of oil in the UAE more than 30 years ago, the country has undergone a profound transformation from an impoverished region of small desert principalities to a modern state with a high standard of living.

3

Qatar at $198.7 Billion

Qatar at $198.7 Billion

Qatar has prospered in recent years with continued high real GDP growth. Throughout the financial crisis Qatari authorities sought to protect the local banking sector, with direct investments into domestic banks. GDP is driven largely by changes in oil prices and by investment in the energy sector. Economic policy is focused on developing Qatar's nonassociated natural gas reserves and increasing private and foreign investment in non-energy sectors.

4

Morocco (Proposed Member) at $180.0 Billion

Morocco (Proposed Member) at $180.0 Billion

Morocco has capitalized on its proximity to Europe and relatively low labor costs to build a diverse, open, market-oriented economy. In the 1980s Morocco was a heavily indebted country before pursuing austerity measures and pro-market reforms, overseen by the IMF. Since taking the throne in 1999, King Mohammed VI has presided over a stable economy marked by steady growth, low inflation, and gradually falling unemployment, although a poor harvest and economic difficulties in Europe contributed to an economic slowdown in 2012.

5

Kuwait at $165.8 Billion

Kuwait at $165.8 Billion

Kuwait has a geographically small, but wealthy, relatively open economy with crude oil reserves of about 102 billion barrels - more than 6% of world reserves. Petroleum accounts for nearly half of GDP, 95% of export revenues, and 95% of government income. Kuwaiti officials have committed to increasing oil production to 4 million barrels per day by 2020.

6

Oman at $94.9 Billion

Oman at $94.9 Billion

Oman is a middle-income economy that is heavily dependent on dwindling oil resources. Because of declining reserves and a rapidly growing labor force, Muscat has actively pursued a development plan that focuses on diversification, industrialization, and privatization, with the objective of reducing the oil sector's contribution to GDP to 9% by 2020 and creating more jobs to employ the rising numbers of Omanis entering the workforce. Tourism and gas-based industries are key components of the government's diversification strategy.

7

Yemen (Proposed Member) at $61.6 Billion

Yemen (Proposed Member) at $61.6 Billion

Yemen is a low income country that is highly dependent on declining oil resources for revenue. Petroleum accounts for roughly 25% of GDP and 63% of government revenue. Yemen has tried to counter the effects of its declining oil resources and continuing attacks on its oil pipelines by diversifying its economy through an economic reform program initiated in 2006 that is designed to bolster non-oil sectors of the economy and foreign investment.

8

Jordan (Proposed Member) at $40.0 Billion

Jordan (Proposed Member) at $40.0 Billion

Jordan's economy is among the smallest in the Middle East, with insufficient supplies of water, oil, and other natural resources underlying the government's heavy reliance on foreign assistance. Other economic challenges for the government include chronic high rates of poverty, unemployment, inflation, and a large budget deficit.

9

Bahrain at $35.0 Billion

Bahrain at $35.0 Billion

Bahrain has taken great strides in diversifying its economy and its highly developed communication and transport facilities make Bahrain home to numerous multinational firms with business in the Gulf. As part of its diversification plans, Bahrain implemented a Free Trade Agreement with the US in August 2006, the first FTA between the US and a Gulf state.