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Business

July 2, 2006

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‘Growth not hurt by oil price’

‘Growth not hurt by oil price’
PARIS: Higher oil prices have not had a negative impact on global growth, Saudi Arabia’s oil minister wrote in a French newspaper on Saturday, saying initiatives by oil producing states would stabilise the market sooner or later.

Ali bin Ibrahim al-Naimi said recently perceived fears over prices were related to “negativism, economic protectionism and so-called economic patriotism”.

“The rise in oil prices has not had negative consequences on economic global growth,” he wrote in an article for French daily Le Figaro.

Naimi, whose country is the world’s top oil exporter, said high taxes made up the biggest part of the price consumers paid in most developed countries for oil products.

Oil rose to nearly $74 a barrel on Friday, within sight of record highs, on a positive outlook for oil demand and economic growth in the United States, the top consumer.

US crude has risen from $20 in January 2002 and hit a record high of $75.35 in April as rising demand strained supplies and investors poured money into commodities.

Naimi said Saudi Arabia had always worked on market stability “in the interest of consumer countries, producer states and in the interest of the world economy in general.”

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