CHALLENGES in diversifying economies of the GCC were one of the key discussions at the conference.
International and regional experts attending one of the sessions of the Business Opportunity and Political Risk in the Gulf and Middle East Conference, organised by the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS), stressed the need for a GCC post-oil strategy.
Lebanese economist Alia Moubayed said three key drivers will shape the Gulf’s macro economic outlook.
“First is the increasing orientation of the Gulf in the emerging Asian markets, which will play well into their strategy of diversification and securing markets in the Asian continent,” she said.
“Another challenge is how the GCC nations would adapt to the changing oil and gas markets dynamics.
“The third challenge is related to the importance of adapting to a more volatile regional environment.
“The GCC nations have strong balance sheets and more solid and cohesive national identity will allow them to withstand the turbulent environment.”
Other speakers at yesterday’s event were Reliance Industries Limited international operations president Atul Chandra, Arab Petroleum Investments Corporation senior consultant Ali Aissaoui, Punj Lloyd chairman Atul Punj, Boeing Company Middle East president Jeffrey Johnson, McKinsey and Company Middle East director Kito De Boer, IISS Geo-economics and Strategy director Dr Sanjay Baru, US-UAE Business Council president Danny E Sebright, International Bank of Qatar deputy chairman Ibrahim Dabdoub and Deputy chairman and Air Arabia group chief executive Adel Ali.