Riyadh– Qatar’s Energy and Industry Minister Mohammed Al Sada stressed the need to rely on diversified resources to promote the GCC economy in light of falling oil prices, pointing out that the oil-based industry would not remain the prime mover of the Gulf economy.
He said that Gulf investments abroad, which are estimated at $284 billion, would not achieve sustainable growth of Arab Gulf countries.
Al Sada’s remarks came during the opening of the Saudi-Qatari Economic Forum, which kicked off Sunday in Riyadh, in the presence of Saudi Minister of Energy, Industry and Mineral Resources Khaled Al-Falih, Chairman of Qatar Chamber Sheikh Khalifa bin Jassim Al-Thani, and President of the Council of Saudi Chambers of Commerce Dr. Hamdan bin Abdullah Al-Samrain.
Al Sada underlined the importance of creating real and sustainable development in the GCC by attaching more attention to the industrial sector, pointing out that the contribution of the sector to the GDP of the GCC countries accounted for 10 percent, which is low when compared to developed countries.
The Qatari minister of energy and industry reiterated the need to promote industrial coordination between GCC states in small and medium sectors, in addition to supporting the private sector and encouraging new initiatives in production and export fields.
For his part, Falih praised during his speech the economic achievements of GCC states within few decades, pointing out that Saudi Arabia was the biggest economy in the Middle East and a member of the Group of Twenty.
Falih said the current economic situation brought about both challenges and opportunities for GCC member states. He noted that resilient strategies had to be developed to maximize benefits and minimize risks from the current situation.
He stressed his country and Qatar aspire to double the volume of their investments, saying the private sector should play a leading role in this regard.
“The forum reflects the directives of the leaderships of both countries, as well as the vision of the Saudi King for closer integration among the GCC member states,” Al-Falih added.
The Saudi minister praised the ongoing cooperation between the Kingdom and Qatar within OPEC, to stabilize the global oil market.
The Saudi-Qatari Economic Forum is organized on the sidelines of the Made in Qatar Exhibition by Qatar Chamber of Commerce and Industry in cooperation with the Council of Saudi Chambers of Commerce and Industry.