7th APRIL 2015 - Vol.XXXVIII No.018
Local News

Arab thought 'must focus on human resources'

HUMAN and economic development should form the main pillars of Arab thought, business leaders heard yesterday.

Arab countries need to establish a new mentality that will induce change in the community, said Saudi Aramco president and chief executive officer Abdulla Jumah.

"We need a new mentality that focuses on economic and human development and that promotes globalisation, not conflict and debate," he explained.

"We hope we will realise economic development that can give innovations in science, culture and art.

"We want to compete with all people in the world for the development of humanity."

He said Arabs could benefit from the experiences of other countries that had promoted and developed human resources.

Human resources are the key element to any success, he said, adding that companies should create an environment that encourages employees to be innovative.

"I call upon Arab thinkers to play a role in continuous learning through their life and this will help us continue our innovation," explained Mr Jumah.

"They should also incorporate professional values so they don't limit themselves to speech and they should disseminate human values such as plurality, co-existence, dialogue and rejection of extremism - these principles are very important in the global era."

Mr Jumah was the keynote speaker of the Arab Thought Foundation Conference (Fikr 6).

The Saudi Aramco official said oil resources could be used to help spur human and economic development.

He said Arab thinkers should develop oil concepts that were credible considering Arab countries held 56 per cent of oil reserves in the world and provided 30pc of oil consumption in the world and oil prices were hitting $100 a barrel.

"Oil is the most important energy resource being discussed at the global level," he said.

"But to what extent is it possible for developed countries including the US to replace oil?"

"Is the world capable of relying on another energy alternative?

"The volume of growth and world demand necessitates the development of traditional and alternative sources."

Mr Jumah said an announcement that alternative energy sources were available in the US and could replace oil was not true and that oil would remain the main source of energy.

However, he raised the question over whether or not there were enough oil reserves to fulfil future needs.

"This is not a new question, it has been asked for the last 50 years and it's always accompanied by a gloomy picture of a lack of energy, but studies have shown this not to be true," he said.

"Studies predict the world has not even extracted 10pc of the energy resources given by God.

"So we may have enough oil to fulfil the needs of another 100 to 200 years."

Nevertheless, he said the international community had an obligation to limit the production of carbon dioxide to protect the environment.

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