Article 104

…في عصر الاتصالات

April 2013

لا تعتقد بأنك جيدٌ بأيّ شيء

Article 103

Libya: An Investment Opportunity?‎

August 2012

There should be no doubt that Libya is a frontier market with ‎impressive credentials and plenty room for optimism, ambition perhaps. Libya ‎has managed to conserve a lucrative cash pile of over $200bn. This, however, doesn't buy a workable roadmap for incorporating ‎all the freedom fighters into the relatively nascent job market - fortunately there is an implicit understanding that Libya has to depart ‎from the old way of doing things, internationalise quickly while ramping up the ante ‎to meet mushrooming expectations. At the core, political compromises need to be struck that allow the ‎government to deliver their development agenda.

Article 102

Egypt: New president, old challenges?

June 2012

A week is a long time in politics – the announcement of Mohammed Morsi as ‎president demonstrates political life is on the path to some sort of resolution. ‎Serious economic concerns however remain. On-going demonstrations (and jubilation) aside the newly fangled government will likely be ‎occupied in untangling Mubarak's legacy as the economy continues to teeter on the ‎abyss.‎ It is almost goes without saying that devaluation of the Egyptian pound is imminent. This begs the question - how much room does Egypt have to manoeuvre and what are the trade-offs?

Article 101

GCC food security

February 29th, 2012

It goes without saying that the semi-arid climatic conditions, limited renewable water ‎resources and burgeoning population growth combined have come to dilute the GCC's the ‎ability to grow food at both strategically sufficient quantities and globally competitive ‎prices. While the region is not water rich, the implicit energy-for-food trade off has been ‎a boon for hydrocarbon exporters. Ultimately, however, the laws of gravity cannot be ‎defied – and neither can the ecological constraints of urbanisation. Faced with the ‎prospect of a rising food bill, what can the GCC do?‎

Article No 98

China: Desperately Seeking Growth

January 5th, 2012

Exacerbated by a downward spiral of expectations, Beijing has to resolve three intractable problems in 2012. Manage the fall-out from deflating a property bubble in exchange for much-needed social stability; compensate for over-supply manufacturing conditions in the context of a rapidly retracting global economy; grapple with China’s food security strategy now that persistent food price inflation is here to stay. The status quo of a rapidly expanding middle income class and ever-increasing expectations coupled with high saving rates is an unsustainable fix.

Article No 97

Economic Synergies between Morocco, Jordan and the GCC

Featured on Slideshare

The presentation argues that there are substantial economic benefits for a Morocco - Jordan - GCC join-up from a GCC perspective. The real political-economy question however, is whether a union is actually need to harness the benefits?

Article No. 95

ADIA set to diversify strategy

Filed in Oxford Analytica

The world's largest sovereign wealth fund's first ever disclosure in March revealed a conservative investment strategy that has ensured stability but modest growth. The appointment of Sheikh Hamed bin Zayed al-Nahyan as chairman last month -- to replace his brother Sheikh Ahmad bin Zayed al-Nahyan, who sadly died in a glider crash in Morocco -- has raised questions about how the fund will proceed in the future.

Article No. 94

Productivity is the key to competitiveness in the GCC

Filed in The National

The input cost of any product made in the GCC depends on how much energy we are willing to allocate for industrial use. Or should we say, the actual price of the any product is its price compared with money that could have been gained from exporting crude oil (opportunity cost). So, how expensive is industrialisation? Well it costs more than the mere energy inputs we can put a price on and perhaps more than the service sector synergies that go along with it..

Article No. 93

Remit or rethink? UAE Dirham peg is not what it seems

Filed in The National

Netting an advantage from currency movements is usually a question of transfers - if we buy euros (or dollars), what are the prospects for retention of value? Will it lose value, thus making our transfer less advantageous? Or will the cost of products and services in Europe rise in the next two years and negate any advantage? It would be wrong to say that a country’s economic destiny is not in its own hands under a US dollar peg - every time the dollar changes international favour, peg followers can always change their trading partners.

Article No. 92

Strong Dirham? Think again.

Filed in Slideshare

Is there a benefit to the currency peg? Over the past decade, 30% of UAE imports were priced in Euros and 30% in Indian Rupees. The peg against the US dollar benefited less than 15% of imports. Likewise, 20-25% of exports are US$ denominated. According to the 'NEER', when the UAE buys products from overseas it pays too much. When it sells products, it receives too little. Put differently – the UAE spends proportionately more barrels of oil on imports than it gains for exports despite its currency peg to the US$.

Article No. 91

Does investing in education lead to a knowledge-based economy?

Filed in The National

Some also argue that setting up institutes and training centres along with a hubbub of ICT support services along all lines of government neatly contribute to the knowledge-based economy. This kind of knowledge-economy has emerged but it doesn't automatically mean that economic activity has become knowledge-based.

Article No. 90

Major challenges overshadow full-scale reconstruction in Iraq

Filed in The National

Major challenges overshadow full-scale reconstruction in Iraq. As withdrawal efforts intensify, economic stability depends critically on maintaining a credible functioning government. During its initial assessment in 2004, the IMF optimistically forecast oil production in Iraq to double in five years while the country's ministry of oil was expecting to at least treble its production levels. Those years have passed all too quickly. The grim reality is, oil production in Iraq has not increased markedly. Then again, neither has electricity.