Notwithstanding the decline in oil prices, the combined GDP of the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council is projected to expand by 5.8 per cent to peak at $1.6 trillion at current rates, a new report has said.
Qatar will lead growth in the region with around 8.7 per cent, while growth will be about six per cent each in Saudi Arabia and Kuwait, 4.5 per cent in the United Arab Emirates, 4.2 per cent in Oman and 3.1 per cent in Bahrain, the report by Kuwait-based Gulf Investment Company said.
It added that the recent decline in oil prices will not affect the economies of Gulf hydrocarbon exporters given the high public spending and reforms being implemented by most members.
"Despite speculation about a further oil price decline, the GCC economies are still expanding as they are based on real growth pillars," it said.
"The first and most important pillar is the high public spending in most member states as it accounts for nearly 35 per cent of GDP. . . this is coupled with the implementation of massive projects worth nearly $1.1 trillion, almost a quarter of the world's investment in infrastructure and energy," it explained.
The report showed Saudi Arabia and Qatar would account for the bulk of those projects which cover oil, gas, electricity and construction.