Business July 04, 2008 21:08 PM




Mid-East Nations Urged To Play Key Role In Determining Oil Prices E-mail this news to a friend  Printable version of this news  



By M. SaraswathiKUALA LUMPUR, July 4 (Bernama) — Middle East countries, which account for two-thirds of global oil output, should play a decisive role in determining the prices and not allow speculators in financial centres in New York and London to inflate them.

“Why can’t we have a role in determining the level of price control or the level which is fair towards the rest of the world, including the Organisation of the Islamic Conference and the Group of Eight Islamic Developing Countries (D-8)?

“What do we do? Do we just supply (as) mere increase of production is not the answer as you can already see (since) speculators still have their say,” Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Dr Rais Yatim said after officiating at the International Media Centre here Friday.

Rais hoped the D-8 would focus on the energy crisis in the discussions so that it could put forward its view in the international fora.

“Unless groupings like D-8 make a concerted effort in making their feelings known, we cannot be seen to be serious on this topic.

“However, the D-8 in my view perhaps may be too small a grouping to make a ripple under the present circumstances,” he said.

Besides the D-8, he said, such efforts should be put forward continuously to the United Nations as well as formative groups such as Association of South-East Asian Nations in order for the world to know the notion of “comparable and affordable oil prices for the sake of civilisation and mankind.”

However, he declined to say if the D-8 grouping would come out with proposals for some sort of a price control mechanism.

He said Malaysia would like to start the ball rolling and get the world engaged in a discussion to see how major oil producing countries, many of them Muslim countries including those in D-8 grouping itself, could play a more prominent and effective role in determining oil prices, instead of allowing the market players and speculators to have the last word on it.

Among the Middle East countries, Saudi Arabia produces about 10 million barrels of oil and Iran produces not less than 7.5 million barrels per day.



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