Gulf states should take advantage of globalisation to devise a strategy for their future based on technology and away from depletable oil resources, a senior GCC official said on Tuesday.
While the six Gulf Co-operation Council (GCC) nations need to stick to their Islamic and cultural traditions, they should gradually open up to the other civilisations and adopt positive change for their own advantage, said GCC Secretary-General Abdul Rahman Al Attiyah (pictrued above).
Addressing a conference on reforms in the oil-rich region, Al Attiyah said political, institutional and social changes in the GCC should be closely linked to economic development, educational quality and media freedom.
“Globalisation of the economic and financial system should prompt GCC countries to devise a strategy for change and development based on technology, renewable energy, non-oil resources and stronger competitiveness,” he told the conference titled ‘The Arabian Gulf between Conservatism and Change’.
“Indications already point in that direction of change. GCC countries are gradually switching from an economy of resources to an economy of technology.
“It is an experience that brings with it new forms of development based on the technology-based economy that takes into consideration creativity, innovation, improvement of the educational system, and upgradation of human resources.”
Al Attiyah cited a recent World Bank report, which he said highlighted both the accomplishments and flaws in the GCC’s educational system. He said that the report has stressed the need for a “new approach” to achieve the goals of economic and social development in member states.
“I think GCC countries are going in the right direction with the establishment of several scientific research centres, educational cities, technology zones, associations for scientists and inventors and other institutions,” he told the three-day conference, attended by scores of officials and experts from the Gulf and other countries.
“We are not showing off when we list these institutions because they represent real oases for investment in the technology-based economy.
These achievements underscore the keenness of our leaders and decision-makers to advance and their strong conviction that improved education and technology-based economy is the only way to make our future,” Al Attiyah added.