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National Visions: Diversification, Development, and the Future of the Gulf

Featured Speakers: Rachel Zeimba (moderator), Ambassador Anne Paterson, Anthony Livanios, Mr. Adnan Albahar, and Dr. Jaime de Pinies Bianchi.

Synopsis:

All the states of the Gulf Cooperation Council have announced remarkably similar but very ambitious “Vision” plans to achieve sustainable economies and provide an opportunity for youth in the future. All the “Visions” seek to aggressively reduce dependence on fossil fuels through economic diversification. All outline in some detailed development plans incorporating a move towards a: “knowledge economy” and enact benchmarks for their achievement. The “Visions” depend to a large degree on the region’s reputation as a politically and economically safe place for investment. The volatility in the oil and gas markets — induced by overproduction and the pandemic — upon which that reputation rests, raises questions about the success of the “Vision” plans.

Are the “Visions” as realistic today as they were when enacted? Or, were they overly ambitious even then? To what extent are various Gulf states on track to meet the benchmarks of their “Visions”? Would failure to achieve the “Visions” undermine regional economies in the light of what most agree is an irreversible long-term decline in fossil fuel revenues?

 

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