The Dolphin gas pipeline project has laid the foundation for further economic integration between the UAE and Qatar, an official said.

"The Dolphin project - the first in the region to export gas via a pipeline - will bring benefits to the Qatari and UAE economies and lay the foundation for further cooperation and integration among the GCC members and neighbouring countries," said Shaikh Abdullah Bin Hamad Al Attiyah, Qatar's second deputy premier and minister of energy and industry.

Shaikh Abdullah was addressing delegates at the Second Doha Development Forum, which started here yesterday.

Economic integration is a important policy objective for the UAE and Qatar as well as Oman, which is to join the Dolphin project, Shaikh Abdullah said.

Enhancing regional economic and political integration and cooperation represents a goal shared by the respective leaders of Qatar, the UAE and Oman, Shaikh Abdullah said.

The Gulf countries are working to enhance bilateral economic relations, Shaikh Abdullah said. The creation of a regional water and electricity network is another expression of this search for greater cooperation, he said.

"Qatar, together with its brother states in the GCC, is placing major importance on [strengthening] economic bilateral relations [among GCC members] as well as [strengthening] relations with foreign countries," Shaikh Abdullah said.

"We in the GCC are looking to develop an electricity and water network [linking GCC members. We are also looking to link] our countries with a gas-fed grid," Shaikh Abdullah said.