GCC National Accounts Committee Holds 1st Meeting
Taking forward the efforts by official statistical departments in respective GCC states, the Statistical Centre for the Cooperation Council for the Arab Countries of the Gulf (GCC-Stat conducted a two-day meeting for the GCC National Accounts Committee. The meeting aimed to lay the framework and set guidelines for the committee that consists of heads of national accounts units drawn from the respective GCC member states. The Discussions highlighted various issues related to national accounts, as well as the latest developments, challenges and related matters within the GCC statistical departments.
Addressing the gathering His Excellency Sabir bin Said Al-Harbi, Director General of GCC-Stat, welcomed the committee and the delegations of participating countries providing them a brief summary of the center and its strategic goals in addition to highlighting the Centre’s upcoming plans and programs for 2014, an update was also given to the committee on the latest developments in their respective statistical departments, with a focus on National Accounts. The meeting also discussed proposed workshops by GCC-Stat, as well as the unified GCC national accounts form, and the recommendations by the Directors of Economic Statistics Committee following their 1st meeting.
Commenting on the two-day discussions, Hessa Al Janahi - Consultant at the GCC-Stat – noted: “This meeting is an essential step towards integrated GCC national accounts. It is the first GCC national accounts committee meeting since the establishment of the Centre, and it is yet another milestone in our continuous efforts that aim to represent the GCC region as a unified socioeconomic body. Committee members were updated on the followed processes for national accounts in each GCC country, and were able to share experiences and discuss best practices followed in each country. We also highlighted the challenges faced by statistical departments and discussed solutions for such challenges in order to achieve a common practice towards integrated GCC national accounts.”
Topics highlighted during the meeting included the proposed unified GCC national accounts form that all members agreed to review and provide feedback for GCC-Stat for ratification. They also set a framework and discussed topics for workshops proposed by the Centre, including: indirect distribution of estimated banking services in brokerage, the financial account for financial projects and the government sector, linkage between business accounting, national accounting and the financial accounts for non-financial projects. Topics also covered financial accounts in the family sector (including unregistered family businesses) and NGO’s, in addition to reviewing display tables through the presentation of actual data, as well as setting up national accounts based on fixed prices.