Abu Dhabi: The GCC economies will record economic growth of about seven per cent this year, spurred by higher oil revenues, sectoral diversification and reforms, experts said. "When you look at the overall picture, the economies of the GCC countries are headed for another year of excellence and 2004 will close with higher growth than the previous year," said Dr. Mohammad S Amerah, an Abu Dhabi-based economist.
"Governments are able to inject more money and increase expenditure. It also activates the private sector due to the multiplier effect," Amerah said. In 2003, the GCC states posted one of their strongest periods of economic performances in a decade and figures for 2004 look even better, he said. "High oil prices underpin the boom. Supply concerns and strong global demand have pushed oil prices past to twenty year highs. To match demand, the Gulf is now close to producing at full capacity.
The Doha-based Gulf Organisation for Industrial Consulting (GOIC) has produced figures showing GCC industrial investments nearly tripled over the past decade to exceed $100bn (Dh367bn) and the figure is set to sharply rise in the future.