News Release

GCC to back initiatives for Mindanao development

The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) expressed its support for the Philippine Government’s efforts to pursue just and lasting peace and development in Mindanao, stressing the Council is ready to work with stakeholders to foster pathways of cooperation and partnership to benefit the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM).

Gulf Cooperation Council Secretary General Dr. Nayef Falah M. Al-Hajraf made the pronouncement during a meeting with Presidential Assistant on Foreign Affairs and Special Envoy to Saudi Arabia Robert E. A. Borje, who arrived in the Kingdom for an official visit.

In the meeting, Special Envoy Borje expressed hope for greater cooperation with GCC and member states especially as the Philippines rebounds from the pandemic.

Special Envoy Borje said he is optimistic that a much deeper collaboration with GCC and member states will help further spur and sustain lasting development in Mindanao particularly in BARMM. The Philippines, he said, has instituted reforms to make it a preferred investment destination.

He said the GCC and its member states can play the role of vital partners as BARMM proceeds with governance and growth.

PAFA Borje said economic development is important to address long-standing social issues such as peace and security in the Southern Philippines. GCC’s support is vital in order to realize the development potentials of BARMM, he said.

Secretary General Al-Hajraf said he would be happy to explore greater GCC cooperation with the Philippines, including the establishment of a formal coordinating mechanism for trade and investments and economic partnership.

The GCC values its relations with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and its member states and has been facilitating investments between the ASEAN and Gulf Coast investors, according to the secretary general.

GCC extends assistance to potential investors and has been helping raise awareness about the opportunities in the ASEAN.

Both Special Envoy Borje and Secretary-General Al-Hajraf also stressed the importance of continuing cooperation in improved frameworks of cooperation to uphold migrant workers’ rights and in combating terrorism and violent extremism.

The GCC is a regional organization composed of the Kingdom of Bahrain, the State of Kuwait, the Sultanate of Oman, the State of Qatar, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

Established in 1981, its objectives are to enhance coordination, integration and inter-connection among its members. PND