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Single currency for Middle East - approved by IMF.



FINANCIAL UNIFICATION IN THE MIDDLE EAST

The International Monetary Fund has approved plans that will achieve monetary union for Middle Eastern countries by 2005 and the launch of a single currency by 2010.[1] The IMF's policy discussion paper states: "The general conclusion is that the benefits do not seem too large, but that neither do the costs."[2] The IMF has mapped out the steps that will be taken during the unification period to establish the single Gulf currency within the first decade of the new millennium.[3]

The new currency will initially be limited to members of the Gulf Cooperation Council, which includes some of the most wealthy nations on earth. The GCC Gulf comprises Saudi Arabia - the world's most important source of oil, as well as Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, and United Arab Emirates. According to the IMF:

    "The establishment of an economic and monetary union
    will create an important regional entity that in 2001 had
    an estimated combined GDP of about $335 billion, average
    weighted per capita income in nominal terms of $12,708,
    and 45 and 17 percent, respectively, of the world's oil and
    natural gas reserves."[4]


GLOBALIZATION IN NEW MILLENNIUM

During 2002, an extreme acceleration of the globalisation process has unified more nations than ever before. Ten new countries agreed to become member states of the European Union, and when Turkey joins the EU it will become the second largest member state, and the boundaries of European Union jurisdiction will include a substantial part of Asia as well as most of the European continent. The EU is no longer just a United States of Europe.

    "It has been quite a year for the European Union.
    It began with the euro becoming a common currency
    across 12 member states and much of western Europe.
    It should end with invitations being issued to 10
    countries to join the 15 current members of the EU.
    By any standards, 2002 will be a landmark."[5]

Also in 2002, seven new nations joined the American-led NATO military-political alliance.

    "Nato leaders meeting in Prague have invited seven
    more countries to join the alliance in what will be
    the biggest expansion in its history."[6]


NEW WORLD ORDER

The early years of the new millennium will be dominated by the great institutions of world unity, United Nations, the United States of America, the United States of Europe, and the United States of the Gulf. When the unification process is complete, how many separate groups of unified nations will exist?

Does this latest round of international unification bring mankind closer toward the United States of the World?


REFERENCES

[1] "'Limited gains' from Gulf single currency", BBC News, 2 January 2003.
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/2622003.stm

[2] "On a Common Currency for the GCC Countries", IMF's Policy Discussion Paper No. 02/12, 2 December 2002.
http://www.imf.org/external/pubs/cat/longres.cfm?sk=16166.0

[3] "Common Currency", IMF's Finance & Development magazine, December 2002, Vol. 39, No. 4.
http://www.imf.org/external/pubs/ft/fandd/2002/12/fasano.htm

[4] "Common Currency", IMF's Finance & Development magazine, December 2002, Vol. 39, No. 4.
http://www.imf.org/external/pubs/ft/fandd/2002/12/fasano.htm

[5] "EU poised for historic deal", BBC News, 13 December 2002.
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/europe/2571435.stm

[6] "Nato embraces new members", BBC News, 21 November 2002.
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/europe/2497245.stm


FURTHER READING

New Scotsman (UK), "Arab leaders' outrage at G8 plans for future of Middle East", 8 June 2004.
http://news.scotsman.com/international.cfm?id=649192004
    ARAB leaders are spurning invitations to tomorrow’s G8 summit amid a diplomatic furore over its plans to lay down goals for a Greater Middle East and North Africa.
    The leaders of Saudi Arabia, Morocco, Tunisa, Egypt and Pakistan are understood to be boycotting the summit, which President George Bush wanted to use to show unity with the Islamic world.
    They have said they feel patronised and outraged at proposals for the G8 summit in Sea Island, Georgia, in the United States, to be used to lay out a manifesto for an area stretching from Afghanistan to Libya.
    Mr Bush’s original plan was to make tomorrow’s summit a bridge-building exercise - seeking to repair relations strained by the Iraq war. He intended to propose renewal for the Greater Middle East. This idea has been enthusiastically backed by King Abdullah II of Jordan and also signed up to by the leaders of Turkey and Yemen.
    The new leaders of Iraq and Afghanistan are also on board.
    But president Hosni Mubarak of Egypt has said he is "furious'" about being dictated to by the G8 group of the world’s richest countries. Leaders in Jordan and Saudi Arabia have echoed his comments.
    France and Russia have also blocked plans for a Democracy Assistance Group which was to be unveiled at the G8 meeting. Their ambassadors said that it smacked of regime change.
    ...

"The Insider" mailing list article, 03 January 2003.

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