x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

GCC to earn US$4.7 trillion by 2020

The substantial stream of revenue?equal to more than four times the region's 2008 GDP?will enable the region to take advantage of the economic downturn.

GCC countries will earn more than US$4.7 trillion (Dh17.2tn) from oil exports by 2020 if prices hold at an average level of $50 per barrel, Ernst and Young, a global accounting firm, said Thursday. The substantial stream of revenue?equal to more than four times the region's 2008 GDP?will enable the region to easily survive, and even take advantage of the global economic downturn, Ernst and Young said.

Earnings by 2020 be 2.5 times as much as GCC countries earned from oil revenues in the last 14 years, the report said. The revenues will leave regional economies with the resources to acquire assets overseas or continue financing local infrastructure improvements, Phil Gandier, the head of transactions advisory services at the firm, said in a statement accompanying the release of the report. "Regional economies are well-placed to capitalise on opportunities emerging from the crisis, despite the fact that there are some concerns over issues related to the tightening of the credit markets and softening of property prices," Mr Gandier said.

The report comes a day after the US Energy Information Administration (EIA), a division of the US Department of Energy, estimated that Opec members will earn $402 billion from oil sales this year, down 58 per cent from 2008. Opec, which includes four members of the GCC, will earn $530bn next year, the EIA said. cstanton@thenational.ae