(MENAFN - Qatar News Agency) The revenues of the oil-producing GCC countries have reached 800 billion last year due to the increase in the oil pricesl, HE Minister of Economy and Finance Youssef Hussein Kamal has said.
The Minister stressed, in his inaugural address at the 14th Arab Businessmen Forum here on Monday, that the GCC countries will look to use that income to increase local spending . The Minister said that most of the challenges that face the region are a result of the low budget, combined with the need to spend to lighten social tensions.
He said in that regard that the forum falls at an "exceptional" time, after the Arab people revolted against injustice and inequality. The Minister added that the Arab spring continues to change the political scene in the region, something that subjected a bigger attention towards the GCC region, due to the economic changes the revolutions created.
HE Youssef Hussein Kamal noted that the International Monetary Fund (IMF) lowered expectation of Growth of Gross Domestic fixed-price in 2012 from 4.2% to 3.6%. HE the minister noted that the Middle-East's oil-producing countries saw an economic growth in 2011, while the opposite occurred for Oil-consuming countries.
The Minister noted that there are three main factors that explain the IMF's decrease in expectation. The first according to Minister of Economy and Trade was the increase in the price of oil, which halts the growth of oil-consuming countries. The other two reasons were the Euro debt crisis which affected different economies all over the world, as well as the confusion created due to the changes made by the Arab revolutions.
HE the Minister of Economy and Finance Youssef Hussein Kamal further said that the losses in the Egyptian and Tunisian tourism sector, estimated at 10 billion, were one of the main negative aspects of the two countries' economic performance.
He said that Arab countries have had different reactions to the Arab revolutions. In Tunisia, the Minister said, the economy is heading towards stability. While in other countries, the Minister added, the road towards a political transformation remains long, which causes direct foreign investments to wait until it is sure of a new government that can take action.
The Minister noted that the Arab world, which has 400 million inhabitants , produces the same quantity of commodities the Switzerland produces, which has less than 8 million inhabitants, excluding oil exports. As a result, the Minister called for a review of the economic developmental plans in the Arab world, in order to make them more comprehensive.
The Minister of Economy and Trade cited HE the Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim bin Jabor Al Thani that some Arab countries like Egypt recorded good growth levels, at around 6-7%. However that growth was not felt because it benefited only a few people at the expense of the other citizens, HE Kamal noted.
At the end of his word the Minister expressed his hope that the forum will produce recommendations that can help government officials in their future economic policies. (QNA)
"Arab Countries Rich in Several Natural and Human Resources", Says HE Hussein Kamal
Doha, February 20 (QNA) -HE Minister of Economy and Finance Youssef Hussein Kamal has said that the arab countries are rich in several natural and human resources and only need sound management of such resources to ensure the success of their economies in the future.
The Minister stressed, in a press statement on the sidelines of the 14th Arab Businessmen Forum which kicked off in Doha earlier on Monday that every economic reform is painful since its consequences rely on the low-income people or the least income people .
HE Minister of Economy and Finance Youssef Hussein Kamal called upon all the arb governments either the transitional or the stable ones to take into account demands of their respective peoples and swiftly conduct radical economic reforms with a view to reach reasonable growth rates .
HE the minister stressed the need that such an arab action should be a joint one to produce tangible fruits since the strongly economic powers are now looking for bringing out certain mechanism to encourage investments in the arab countries to create labour opportunities that benefit big sectors of the arab community.