First Deputy Premier: Economic growth in region linked to political stability

The First Deputy Premier and Foreign Minister HE Sheikh Hamad bin Jassem bin Jabor Al Thani delivered an inauguration speech at the Conference on Enriching the Middle East Economic Future, which started on Monday 30 January 2006. More than 250 economists and specialists from various Middle Eastern, Arab, Asian and European countries as well as the United States participated in this two-day meeting.

The First Deputy Premier stated in his speech that economic and social stability are essential factors for the economic growth of the countries of the Gulf region. Therefore, it is mandatory to keep these countries safe from crises and political struggles, as well as exerting sincere efforts to promote peace and prosperity in the region, His Excellency noted.

Countries of the Middle East in general and the Gulf region specifically enjoy a significant and exceptional geo-strategic importance, in which political, economic and security factors meet and attract the world’s attention and interest,” The Deputy Premier said.

“The importance of the region’s countries originates from diverse reasons, the first of which is the considerable natural resources, such as oil & natural gas, they possess which affect deeply the sustainable growth of the world’s economies,” His Highness emphasised.

The Qatari first deputy premier and foreign minister also said that the region has huge reserves of energy resources, citing the fact that OPEC, with GCC countries and Iran accounting for the majority of its members, have some 70 percent of the world’s oil reserves. Natural gas reserves in the region are also estimated to account for about half the world’s total reserves, he said, noting that Qatar and Iran have the largest reserves of natural gas.

“These resources are vital for any sought-after socio-economic development in the world, and growth of the global economy depends very much on the accessibility to the these resources,” HE the First Deputy Premier said, specifying that a host of inter-related factors should, therefore, be taken into account.

“Among others, economies of the region should be taken care of, as economic and industrial growth in countries of the region would surely be reflected positively, in view of the inter-related and inter-dependent relation between various economies of the world featuring out the global landscape,” he said.

“The success of the region’s countries in accomplishing their development plans, especially on the social and economic levels would greatly contribute to the establishment of political stability. Subsequently, some far-reaching benefits would be yielded through the optimal utilisation of available economic and financial resources,” HE the First Deputy Premier and Foreign Minister concluded.

©Foreign Information Agency of the State of Qatar