Pragmatic approach to Arab Gulf States development cooperation : conceptual and practical basis
In designing a viable approach to development cooperation, on two planes, horizontal (geo-economic circles) and vertical (function and form of cooperation) analysis was conducted of AGS' development structural needs for development. Forms of cooperation found both in development literature and in practice were surveyed. Analysis of the opportunities and constraints associated with the structural characteristics of the AGS' Sub-region, indicated that, whilst current development is concentrated on material production i.e. 'quantitative' aspects, the need for structural change demands priority for 'qualitative' development. Quantitative development is concerned with the structural and infra- structural base, in broad terms, including fields such as human-resources development, training, research, science and technological base, development administration, the industry of finance, environment preservation, and the socio-cultural values necessary for 'mobilized development' rather than 'passive pseudo-development'. The present situation can be more accurately described as 'development diversion' rather than 'development creation'. Development determinants of the AGS produce strong motivations to, even the necessity for cooperation. Such cooperation, between relevant geo-economic zones - the 'horizontal' element - is found to be viable if based on a Trilateral approach involving three circles: the Sub-region stimulates the AGS to pooling their financial surpluses within an investment strategy, which is based upon the qualitative needs within the Sub-region, wider opportunities for AGS investment on productive activities and which will also benefit the recipients of investment motivate cooperation within the Regional and International circles. To achieve the structural change necessary for self-sustaining development, a viable, functional 'vertical' approach is necessary, identified as: piece-meal, partial, development-oriented and based upon programmed cooperation within an integratory realm. This approach, within the Trilateral framework, would create new development forces, counteracting the limitations of absorptive capacity and other constraints inhibiting AGS economic diversification. It would establish the platform on which to build self- sustaining economic development onward into the post-oil era. OAPEC projects and the AAAID programme on food security within the Region are especially significant operational examples of the applicability of our approach, since the food security issue is identified as a strong motivation for trilateral cooperation. The operational side of the proposed approach is determined by an investment strategy which is based upon the principles of equitable distribution of costs and benefits, reciprocity, additionality, and, through cooperation the harmonious relationships within all three circles which are necessary for but also created by successful development cooperation.