(MENAFN - Kuwait News Agency (KUNA)) Qatari Minister of Energy and Industry Dr. Mohammad Al-Sada said Monday the natural gas offers good investment opportunities for industrial development that can unleash the developing economies in a sustainable manner, and contribute to raising incomes and reducing poverty.
"Sustainable access to energy is essential for proper functioning of modern economies in many developing countries," he said.
Dr. Al Sada made the remarks in a speech to a session on "Natural Gas as an Engine of Growth" held here following the 13th session of the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD XIII) that came to a close yesterday.
"To ensure a reliable and sustainable gas supply is still the main constraint for many developing countries," he said, pointing out that these countries need to secure their energy supply in order to push forward the wheel of national economy.
The minister noted that energy is the cornerstone of economic development of any country, explaining that the fossil fuel currently accounts for 83 percent of global energy consumption and is expected to meet 80 percent of the world's energy needs.
Dealing with Qatar's liquefied natural gas (LNG) output capacity, Dr. Al-Sada said his country was able to produce 77 million tons, thus becoming the world's largest supplier and producer.
He reaffirmed Qatar's commitment to environment protection and reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions, saying: "Qatar's efforts are not limited to taking some measures towards local community but also about joint cooperation with the international community in this regard.
The LNG drew the international attention as a first option that works on reduction of emissions and as well for its effectiveness, the multiplicity of uses, the huge reserves size and geographic distribution, according to Al-Sada.
He noted that the statistics show that demand for natural gas will increase by more than 60 percent until the year 2040, adding that LNG will grow rapidly to occupy the place of coal, and to take the second in the list of the most commonly used fuels worldwide after oil.
Dr. Al-Sada stressed the need to provide access to clean energy sources that are more effective and less costly for the greater number of people in the world, but he warned at the same time that the reducing the income for the producers of oil or gas could undermine investments and prevents these countries from new projects, and thus affect the future of energy demand.
Meanwhile, Secretary General of the UNCTAD Supachai Panitchpakdi stressed that energy is one of the key elements for achieving sustainable growth, and pointed out to the role of UNCTAD on trying to provide energy to all parts of the world, warning at the same time, from the negative impact of raising energy prices.
He also called for increasing the size of the use of renewable energy. He explained that the expansion in the use of gas would help the world to develop its economy due to lower prices and the low level of emissions from its use.
Participants in the meeting confirmed that there is a global increase in energy demand and that the gas can play a vital role in meeting energy demand, and work to develop the economies of many developing countries, especially African, in which strategic stocks of natural gas are available.
They also referred to the importance of sharing knowledge and technology on the applications of natural gas and how to benefit from it, which would push the economies of these countries towards sustainable growth.
On his part, Qatari Minister of Business and Trade Sheikh Jassim Abdel Aziz Al-Thani said his country will start executive steps to implement law no 13 of 2000 on foreign investment in Qatar.
He added that his ministry would endorse the new procedures to receive applications for investment in nine strategic sectors, namely agriculture, industry, health, education, tourism, energy and mining, consultative, technical services and information technology, cultural, sports and entertainment services and the distribution services.
Sheikh Jassim noted that the ministry has completed a mechanism for assessing applications for foreign investment.
The minister urged investors to avail themselves the opportunity of Qatar's presidency of UNCTAD and step up the partnership with Water in the areas of development and investment.