International Conference Discusses Role of Oil Prices in Future of GCC Economies

Muscat, An international conference about the role of oil prices in the future of economies of GCC states kicked off here today. A select group of local, regional and international academics took part in the two-day conference, organized by Mazoon College.

Sayyid Sulaiman Hamoud al-Busaidi, Deputy Secretary-General of the Council of Ministers, who chaired the opening session, underlined the significance of the conference in studying the causes behind the slump in global oil prices and alternatives to come out of the ensuing economic crisis.

Sayyid Sulaiman said that the government has exerted tremendous efforts and undertook measures to curb the impacts of the crisis, including the rationalization of government spending.

Dr. Juma Saleh al-Ghailani, Board Chairman of Mazoon College, who chairs the conference, said that waves of high oil prices lured oil producing countries into increasing government expenditure and augmenting spending in volumes. This, he observed, led to the emergence of major economic crises that left those countries incapable of addressing the steep decline in oil prices in the global market. Their negative impacts crippled the overall economic mobility. Accordingly, oil producing countries, GCC states in particular, have to reconsider their financial policies and endorse more rational procedures that could curb the impacts of fluctuating oil prices on development plans and minimize dependence on oil and gas revenues.

To this effect, Sayyid Sulaiman exhorted countries to enhance commercial and economic exchange during a foreseeable stage of fluctuating oil prices in the international markets. He referred to the great technological progress in the world which, he said, encourages a policy of self-sufficiency through successful investment in alternative energy fields. Scientific progress in the field of alternative energy offers the best option, away from the policy of oil pricing under the leadership of OPEC, Sayyid Sulaiman said.

Then, the first session of the conference began, with wide-ranging participation of academics from Sultan Qaboos University, the University of Technology and Applied Sciences, Aarhus University of Denmark, and University of Technology, Sydney, Australia. A number of research papers themed around the relationship between energy and development were presented.

Source: Oman News Agency