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Post Oil Economy
22 May 2016 – Armani Hotel
The first talk in the series witnessed DED presenting a new book from the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Breaking the Oil Spell: The Gulf Falcons' Path to Diversification.
This event came in the wake of the call by HH Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, for new initiatives and measures to steer the UAE economy away from oil and set it on a path towards a sustainable, diversified, knowledge-based economy.
Over the past three decades, the UAE has witnessed an unprecedented economic and social transformation. Oil proceeds have been used to modernize infrastructure, create employment, and improve social indicators, while simultaneously accumulating official reserves, maintaining relatively low external debt, and remaining important donors to poor countries. Overall real economic growth has averaged 5 per cent a year during the past decade and a half, while the importance of non-oil economic activities has grown steadily. Efforts at economic diversification continue unabated with a target of increasing the contribution of the non-oil sectors to GDP from 70% today to 80% during the next fifteen years.
Breaking the Oil Spell: The Gulf Falcons' Path to Diversification starts by asking readers to imagine a future in which oil is no longer the main source of energy. In the past, countries such as Brazil, Korea, Malaysia, and Singapore have made major strides in economic diversification, and this book distills lessons from their experiences to help guide the Gulf countries and other oil exporters today. Their stories reveal that incentives for firms and workers need to be realigned to develop technologically-sophisticated, export-oriented industries. More important, their stories show that standard growth policy prescriptions may not be enough and changing incentives for firms and workers is essential. Breaking the Oil Spell sheds light on what constitutes true economic diversification and the role of the state in achieving it.