Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC)

Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC)

Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC)


The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) was formed in 1981 by an agreement among Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Oman, Kuwait, Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates (UAE), that was concluded in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

  • It is an economic and political union comprising all the Arab countries of the Persian Gulf except Iraq.
  • Although its current official name is the Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf, it is still popularly and unofficially known as the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), its former official name.
  • The grouping was formed given the similar political establishments in the countries based on Islamic principles, their geographical proximity, joint destiny, and common objectives.


The chief objectives of the GCC are to have integration, coordination, and interconnection between the member countries in all fields, and:

  • Strengthen people-to-people ties.
  • Formulate similar finance, economy, customs, trade, tourism, administration, and legislation regulations.
  • Foster scientific and technical cooperation in agriculture, mining, industry, animal resources, and water.
  • Have a unified military.
  • Set up scientific research centers.
  • Establish joint ventures and encourage private-sector cooperation.

Structure of Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC)

The GCC consists of the Supreme Council, the Ministerial Council, and the Secretariat General.

  1. Supreme Council: It is the highest GCC authority and comprises the heads of state of all the member states. It meets once a year and resolutions are taken by a majority vote. The Supreme Council determines the overall policy of the GCC.
  2. Ministerial Council: It consists of the foreign ministers of the members and meets once in three months. It frames policies and makes recommendations on means of developing cooperation and coordination amongst the Member States in the economic, social, and cultural spheres. 
  3. Secretariat General: It prepares reports, budgets, etc. for the Council. It assists the members in implementing decisions made by the Supreme and Ministerial councils. It is headed by the Secretary-General, who is appointed for a three-year term.

GCC and India

  • GCC countries, with large hydrocarbon reserves, are crucial for India‚Äôs energy requirements while the region has been a good market for Indian products.
  • There is also a huge presence of Indians in the GCC countries particularly Saudi Arabia and UAE, in the form of skilled and unskilled workers.
  • For the past four decades, energy and manpower have been the two major drivers of India‚Äôs relationship with the region.¬†
  • Negotiations for the India-Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Free Trade Agreement (FTA) are in a crucial phase of talks.
  • Recently, after the revocation of Article 370 and the CAA, neither the UAE nor Saudi Arabia has taken hostile positions against India on the issues.
  • India and GCC members are members of the¬†FATF.
  • India has multilateral and bilateral military exercises with most of the GCC countries.
  • The economic and political relationship of India with the GCC has improved in recent years.
  • GCC suppliers account for around¬†34% of India‚Äôs crude imports.
  • The friendly relationship has been reflected in the¬†bilateral trade¬†of around USD 121 billion and¬†remittances¬†of USD 49 billion from a workforce of over nine million.

Related Links:

World Trade Organization (WTO)Financial Action Task Force (FATF)
World Health Organisation (WHO)International Monetary Fund (IMF)