The GCC countries' economy constitutes the equivalent of two per cent of the world's gross domestic product (GDP), according to Al Ahli Bank's economist Dr Saeed Al Shaikh.
He told our sister paper Akhbar Al Khaleej that the GCC possesses 30 per cent of the world's gas reserves and 40 per cent of the world's oil reserves.
Dr Al Shaikh asserted that global and regional economic and security conditions make it imperative for countries of the Gulf region to surmount formalities such as bickering about hosting of the Gulf Union's head offices.
Regarding a report issued by NBC recently which included forecasts for the Saudi economy 2012 within the confines of 3.9 per cent and 2013 within limits of 4.4 per cent and anticipated more oil pumping in order to pacify rates and lower them, Dr Al Shaikh said that he expects the average price of oil to be at $105 per barrel as he expects oil prices to be moderate during the next half of this year although oil prices in the first quarter reached $118 per barrel.
Dr Al Shaikh said that the Saudi oil production is expected to reach 9.4 million barrels per day during the current year in contrast with last year's 9.2m barrels per day.
He also expected positive growth in the non-oil private sector.