Gulf Economics and Energy Research Program

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Gulf Economics and Energy Research Program

The Gulf Economics and Energy research program focuses on the economies of the GCC member countries and the three neighboring countries, Iraq, Iran and Yemen. Special attention is given to the still paramount oil and gas sector and the extension of its value chain into petrochemicals, refining and energy intensive industries such as aluminum. Other diversification attempts in trade, services and tourism are also analyzed, with a special emphasis on renewable and nuclear energy. Other areas of interest regulatory and business environments, capital markets and trade relations (e.g. WTO, FTAs).

The Gulf Economics and Energy research program focuses on the following topics:

  • International oil and gas
    • The future of global energy supply and demand
    • The organization of the international oil and gas markets
    • Oil and gas price developments
    • Oil and gas technology
    • Oil and gas legislation
    • Cooperation and cross investment between NOCs
    • International oil and gas diplomacy
  • Alternative energies
    • Renewables (Solar, Wind, Biomass), Nuclear, Coall
    • Technology import and training and education of manpower
  • Economic diversification and national transformation programs
  • Domestic capital markets
  • Trade liberalization and cross investment

Sample of Past Projects

  • Gulf Growth project: Delivery of an in depth analysis of the growth prospects of the GCC economies over the next 20 years. Regional and international experts worked over a two-year period in close cooperation with the private sector.
  • SECURE consortium: The SECURE Project (Security of Energy Considering its Uncertainty, Risk and Economic Implications) was a multi-year research project funded by the European Commission under the Seventh Framework Programme with the scope of building a comprehensive framework that covers the issues related to security of supply inside and outside the EU. The Gulf Research Center was awarded participation focusing on the oil dimension and was responsible for all geopolitical issues related to energy security.
  • POLINARES: The POLINARES project examined how tension and conflict in access to oil, gas and mineral resources may undermine future global peace and economic development, and explored new modes of behavior which promote an appropriate balance between competition and collaboration. The project had the following research objectives:
    • To develop a better understanding of how global interactions and interdependencies relating to oil, gas and minerals have been changing and are likely to change, how they relate to the development trajectories of different parts of the world, and what their implications are for global economic, social, institutional and security relations;
    • To identify principles which can underpin the development of new policies, new policy-making processes, and new networking systems which, in turn, can assist in promoting an appropriate balance between competition and collaboration with respect to access to oil, gas and minerals in a manner which mini- mises conflict and promotes sustainable economic development.
  • Comprehensive study on the development of disadvantaged governorates in the Makkah region: This project was supported by the Jeddah Chamber of Commerce and Industry. The study looked at the future of sustainable economic development in three regions: Rabigh, Al Qunfudah, and Al Leith in the Makkah Province of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The major focus of the study was on agricultural development and cluster-based economic and industrial growth. Specific attention was given to infrastructural requirements as a framework for sustainable development of less-developed regions in order to integrate the less-developed regions with mainstream national development plans and simultaneously address the imminent challenges facing the major cities.
  • Global Trade Alert Project: The Gulf Research Center was the Middle East regional focal point for the Center for Economic and Policy Research’s Global Trade Alert Project. The project provided real-time information on state measures taken in the aftermath of the global financial crisis that were likely to affect foreign commerce.
  • The Role of the Private Sector in Promoting Economic and Political Reform (along with the Arab Reform Initiative): The project involved original research to shed light on the capabilities and attitudes of the private sector towards economic and political reform. Research focused on evaluating private sector capabilities and degree of dependence on government spending or protection, as well as on addressing the role of the private sector in promoting economic and political reform. A series of workshops in addition to a book publication took place within the framework of this project.

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