(MENAFN - Arab News) Subsidies in the GCC put an increasing burden on government budgets; however, approximately 70 percent of consumers feel that governments can clearly afford to subsidize prices since the countries are very rich in natural resources.
Awareness of GCC consumers regarding the level of subsidies, the perceived benefit attached to it from a consumers point of view and other elements such as environmental concerns or investment in education that would justify a change in subsides are some of the topics covered in Roland Berger Strategy Consultants' latest consumer survey conducted across several GCC countries, including Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Qatar, Bahrain and Kuwait. With 1,300 consumer interviews, the report analyzes insights and attitudes regarding pricing and consumption on gasoline and utilities subsidies.
"Energy subsidies in the GCC are becoming increasingly unsustainable, both from a fiscal and an environmental perspective," said Jaap Kalkman, senior partner and head of energy at Roland Berger.
A revision of the current subsidy scheme and related policies to find sustainable levels, increasing awareness and creating appreciation as well as limitation of consumption and waste levels are some of the main challenges the government is faced with today.
Dorit Posdorf, principal at Roland Berger Middle East, said: "More insights and dedicated strategies are required to tackle challenges created by the current way subsidies are positioned and handled."
Execution of extended consumer surveys to gain broader understanding, integration of international best-practice learnings, elaboration of marketing/public relations campaigns and development of programs and policies are possible actions required to tackle the issues.
The results of the GCC market study referenced here are only a small sample of the information available. Based on the substantial data gathered, tailored analytics to companies operating in the telecommunications, financial services and retail industry can be made available upon request.
Roland Berger Strategy Consultants, founded in 1967, is one of the world's leading strategy consultancies. With 2,700 employees working in 51 offices in 36 countries worldwide, it has successful operations in all major international markets. The strategy consultancy is an independent partnership exclusively owned by around 250 partners.