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What is the Future for Economic Diversification in Gulf Arab States?

By: | posted on: Jul 9, 2019

Date(s) - 07/09/2019
12:30 pm - 2:00 pm

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The Arab Gulf States Institute in Washington


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Long-standing economic diversification strategies to wean regional economies away from a dependence on hydrocarbon revenue through investments in petrochemicals, banking, tourism, and small- and medium-sized enterprise development have had mixed results. More recent investments in renewable energy and global technology firms have yet to yield substantial returns. Regional initiatives to generate additional non-oil revenue streams, such as the implementation of value-added tax, have not been adopted by all members of the Gulf Cooperation Council.

This panel will critically examine the current state of economic diversification initiatives in Gulf Arab states. How does the new normal of volatile oil prices since the oil crisis of 2014-16 impact economic diversification efforts? What are the key commercial entities and who are the individuals driving diversification agendas? How do geopolitics affect economic considerations and policy priorities in Gulf Arab states? The panel brings together a group of economic experts to discuss the successes and failures of economic diversification as well as prospects for the future.

A light lunch will be served.


Ziad Daoud, Chief Middle East Economist, Bloomberg Economics

Sona Varma, Lead Economist, Middle East and North Africa Region, World Bank

Robert Mogielnicki, Resident Scholar, AGSIW (Moderator)

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