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Economic nationality” is the realization of a fully equal treatment among GCC nationals in all economic fields in member States. However, the concept of “nationalization” has undergone several developments in the history of the GCC economic joint action. Article (8) of 1981 Agreement provides for only four areas, for example but not limited to that, where Economic nationality or equal treatment shall be achieved, these are:

Freedom of movement, work and residence
The right of ownership, inheritance and will
The freedom of engagement in economic activity
Free movement of capitals

During the first two decades of establishing the GCC, the concept of equal treatment among GCC nationals was applied to many areas of the Agreement. In this connection, the GCC States have adopted important resolutions that provide for permitting the GCC nationals to engage in the economic activity in any Member State, but this was subject to certain controls for each economic area. That was implemented according to the gradual approach provided in the Economic Agreement 1981, and necessitated by the conditions then prevailing. However, in practice, it was found out that some of those controls were difficult to apply, which made the GCC nationals refrain from benefiting from the resolutions of the Supreme Council according them the right of equal treatment in those economic fields. For the joint action to shift from the stage of coordination and cooperation to integration, the trend adopted by the Economic Agreement 2001 tends to the direct application of the concept of fully equal treatment in all economic fields.

Article (3) of the Economic Agreement 2001 contains the most important provision concerning the Economic nationality. The said Article provides for direct implementation of the concept of fully equal treatment for all GCC nationals through according the GCC nationals residing in any Member State the same treatment accorded to its nationals without differentiation or discrimination in all economic fields; that includes natural and legal nationals. To emphasize this concept and eliminate any ambiguity, the Article mentions ten general economic fields, for example but not limited to that, where equal treatment is to be achieved among GCC nationals. These ten fields include the following:

1. Movement and residence
2. Work in private and government jobs
3. Pension and social security
4. Engagement in all professions and crafts
5. Engagement in all economic, investment and service activities
6. Real estate ownership
7. Capital movement
8. Tax treatment
9. Stock ownership and formation of corporations
10. Education, health and social services

The resolution adopted by the Supreme Council at its 23rd session (December 2002), identified a time schedule for completion of the requirements of the GCC Common Market, as follows:
a) Equal treatment shall be accorded to the GCC citizens by 2003 in the field of employment in the private sector, Stock ownership, formation of corporations and elimination of relevant barriers.
b) Equal treatment shall be accorded to the GCC citizens by 2005 in the field of government jobs, social insurance and pension and elimination of relevant barriers
c) Competent committees shall complete all requirements to ensure achievement of the GCC Common Market by 2007 at the latest.

This time schedule means going ahead with all the procedures that ensure full equal treatment among GCC citizens in all the fields specified in the Agreement, and elimination of all restrictions and controls that prevent achievement of full equality through updating the resolutions of joint action.