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TIN news:        Oman Transport and Communications Minister Dr Ahmed Bin Mohammed Bin Salim Al Futaisi has revealed that the governments of Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries are set to invest more than $200bn in railway projects across the region.
 
The minister made this announcement as part of the GCC Rail and Metro Conference 2015, which started in Muscat on 11 January.
 
Al Futaisi said: "This provides a good environment to attract companies, manufactures, human resources and capital to the region.
 
"Our challenge will not just be in how to ensure the success of executing these projects from a technical and operational point of view, but on how to exploit the socio-economic potential of these massive investments so to ensure the multiplier effect into our economies."
"This provides a good environment to attract companies, manufactures, human resources and capital to the region."
 
The conference is attended by government officials from the ministries of transport, trade and commerce, and finance of GCC countries, along with representatives from rail firms such as Etihad Rail, Saudi Railways Organisation, Saudi Railway Company, Qatar Rail and Oman Rail.
 
Resident World Bank Advisor, GCC for the Arab States of the Gulf, Dr Ramiz Al Assar said: "It will link six member states as a regional transport corridor, further integrating with the national railway projects, deepening economic social and political integration, and it is developed from a sustainable perspective."
 
The projects aim to link six GCC member states with a 2,177km-long GCC rail project further integrating with the GCC National Railway network of an excess of 10,000km, adding another regional and integrated mode of transport complementing other transport sectors, such as road, airports, and ports.
 
Approximately 400km of this regional, integrated and interoperable railway is being constructed or set to start construction, with another 700km to begin construction soon.

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