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UAE’s Economic Progress: A Symbol to Follow

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United Arab Emirates (UAE) has transformed into a regional trading hub of the Middle-East and is on a road to becoming a trading center of the world. It has grown into a business capital and is recognized as the wealthiest in the region with the GDP per capitaincome of $49500. UAE has managed to gain this position due to its enormous gas and oil reserves since UAE has the third largest gas and oil reserves of the OPEC. Previously, the UAE was highly dependent on oil and natural gas as it comprised 40% of total exports and 38% of GDP. However, efforts are being made to diversify the economy and reduce the dependency on oil revenues by investing in tourism, financial, and construction sectors. The diversification ofthe economy is rapidly becoming a success story and a role model for others to follow.

The UAE had a different medium for economic growth throughout the years. Until the 1930s, pearl fishing proved profitable but after the Great Depression and the invention of cultured pearls in Japan caused the Emirates’ pearl business to collapse. In the 1960s, oil replaced pearls as the medium of economic growth. The oil proved to be highly profitable and it altered the dynamics of the country and transformed it into one of the richest states in the world. Oil production attracted foreign investments and trade and allowed the UAE to fund the development of other sectors such as cement plants, food industry, and tourism.

Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al- Maktoum succeeded in 2006 with a vision in his mind which later changed the image of the UAE in the world. He is credited with the rapid economic expansion of Dubai in particular. In 2010 he launched the UAE vision of 2021 intending to make the UAE ‘one of the best countries in the world’ by 2021. He launched a number of major enterprises such as Emirates Airline, Jumeriah group, and DP world. His economic vision led to Dubai becoming a global city with free economic zones, technology parks, International Finance Centre, the Palm islands and the Burj Al Arab hotel. In 2016, the government announced a long-term planned to multi-diversify the economy of the UAE to attract businesses and investments in other sectors like knowledge-based industries than oil to reduce the dependency on the energy sector as a source of economic activity.

UAE VISION 2021

The UAE vision of 2021 is to be ‘one of the best countries in the world’ by 2021. Their aim is to be united in the notion of knowledge, prosperity, destiny and responsibility. The government of UAE has announced a plan through which they will introduce high quality global standard infrastructure, government services and recreational environments.This will help promote a business environment and lure foreign investments in the country.

Since the economy of the UAE is centered on international trade and financial services; it offers favorable tax conditions which have made UAE into a ‘tax haven’. The favorable tax condition is a result of the domination of the extractive sector, and a minimal bureaucratic burden which has made the running of businesses easier. This environment has fostered considerable foreign capital and investments from all over the world.

In order to implement this vision, the government put forward the strategy that would act as a benchmark for the federal entities to develop their strategic plans. The strategy was divided into 7 general principles. These are the following principles:-

  • To enhance the role of national entities in carrying out operative regulations and cohesive policies by successful planning and implementation.
  • To strengthen coordination and cooperation among national entities and the local government.
  • To focus primarily on delivering high class, customer based and integrated government services.
  • To invest in human resource sector and create new leaders.
  • To promote efficient resource management within the national entities and facilitate partnerships.
  • To create a strategic culture to promote uninterrupted performance improvement and produce excellent results
  • To ensure transparence in order to enhance the accountability mechanisms of the government throughout the federal entities.

These steps have encouraged the change in the economic environment of the UAE and have facilitated the growth of UAE into the second largest economy in the Arab gulf with the fastest expanding economies of the world. In the past 40 years, UAE’s GDP has increased exponentially from $6.5 billion in 1971 to a whopping amount of $1248 billion in 2011. It accounted for 192x increase in Dubai’s GDP per capita which has increased from 100,000 dirhams (1975) to 174,000 dirhams (2011). This excellent success prompted international organizations, to name Dubai along with China, Turkey, India, Singapore, Russia, Malaysia and Brazil, among the world’s top emerging markets.

According to local and international estimates, steady economic growth has not resulted solely from energy output and oil exports, it has resulted from diversifying income streams and reducing oil dependence. Moreover, according to recent oil contribution figures, GDP has fallen from 70% in 1971 to 29% in 2010. This approach portrays the country’s significant economic achievement as it highlights a big contribution to the national economy’s stability. The recent report published by IMF shows that GDP growth of UAE will raise from 3.3% in 2011 to 3.8% in 2012.

To further capitalize the environment of UAE, the government made the protection of environment a priority of its government developmental strategy. Agriculture was also extensively discussed by the UAE government, and given the question of scarcity and desertification the government was successful in achieving goals. The key target for agriculture sector development and growth was the provision of food to the local economy. It is because the government finds it an aspect of national security. Similarly, the industrial sector has boomed considerably in the recent years with investments in this sector in 2010 amounting to DH101.12 billion (IMF). Nearly 4960 industries have been developed which created employment opportunities for the youth. It clearly demonstrates the federal and local government’s vision of improving and expanding the Industrial market.

UAE has managed to create a modern infrastructure which meets the requirements of the business world and their people likewise. The infrastructure includes not only highways, power and bridges but also transcends open, specialized and economic zones. The free zones are more than 30 in size, and are widely spread across the emirates. .The Abu Dhabi and Dubai real estate industry significantly contributed to the country’s transformation. In these states, the real estate has been referred to as the world-renowned with its contemporary concepts and designs.

Over the years even, the tourism sector has grown tremendously. In 2010, the number of tourist visiting reached over a 10 million. The influx of private and foreign investments has contributed majorly to the development of the tourist sector. In the last 10 years, 47 billion dirhams investment went into the tourism sector. A report published by IMF in 201, ranked the Dubai airport as the fourth best Airport in the world.

Moving towards the foreign trade, it accounts for 70% of UAE’s GDP. The country has a broad network of trading partners all over the world and they all enjoy bilateral trade relations. International trade is expected to rise by more than 25 per cent after 2011, due to significant changes in the UAE’s (Trade) economic climate. The UAE is among the world’s biggest exporters and importers with $235 billion in exports and $170 billion in imports. The exports contribute to 2% of the total world exports while the imports accounts for 1.4% of the total world imports.

Furthermore, the financial services sector of UAE has seen rapid growth as well. This was facilitated by the commercial and specialized banks of the UAE which played an important role in sponsoring economic activity and commerce in the country. There are 51 banks in the country including 23 national banks. Another contributing factor is the establishment of the financialmarketswhich havemobilized domestic savings. The Dubai Internationalfinancial market has become a free economic zones for the markets in the Middle East.

Another important step taken by the government was the e-government project. It was an attempt to promote electronic payment method for accessing federal government services. This encourages the local level entities to start e-services as well which proved to be time efficient andcost efficient.The e-government strategy helped maximize the efficiency of the UAE by the provision of world class practices in all the areas of E-government. The strategic plan was further sub-divided into 3 parts: E-services, E-readiness and ICT environment. The E-government proved to be a successful gamble and is now operating on local levels as well.

Likewise, The E-Commerce is responsible for overseeing the implementation of the UAE e-commerce law and certification services. It promotes adherence to the laws and regulations that allow safe and secure e-commerce transactions. The ultimate goal and mission of the E-commerce department is to promote economic development and technological advancement and innovation within the defined limits of a regulatory e-commerce regime that is fully in line with global standards. It also aims to create a regulatory and licensing framework that will be responsible for providing optimum development and fostering innovation, growth, competitiveness and significant investment in UAE ICT and the ecommerce sector, by adopting best global practices and standards while reacting to market needs and local consumers.

ABU DHABI ECONOMIC VISION 2030

After the completion of major objectives of the UAE’s economic vison plan of 2021, the government has launched another economic vision plan for 2030 in which they hope to achieve sustainable development goals (SDGs). The first initiative was started in 2016 which the introduction of the Dubai 3D Printing Strategy. The goal of this strategy is to establish the image of the UAE as the leading hub of 3D printing technology by the year 2030 by ensuring that 25% buildings in Dubai would be based on 3D printing technology by 2030.

Moreover, Dubai Industrial Strategy is launched to elevate Dubai into a global hub for knowledge-based, sustainable and innovation-focused businesses. The primary aim is to increase the total output and of the manufacturing sector by through innovation in order to make Dubai a manufacturing platform for global businesses and create an environmentally friendly and energy-efficient center for the global Islamic products market. This will help create additional revenue of AED 160 billion by 2030.

Dubai Autonomous Transportation Strategy aims to revolutionize the transportation sector to autonomous mode by 2030. This will generate AED 22 billion by reducing the transportation costs by 44%, carbon emissions, and enhancing the efficiency of individuals while saving time wasted in conventional transportation. The government has also started Abu Dhabi Transportation Mobility Management Strategy which will encourage the use of sustainable modes of transport and reduce traffic jams.

Abu Dhabi government has developed an environmental vision 2030 to ensure integration among the three pillars of sustainability: environmental, economic and social vision. This seeks to protect and improve the natural heritage of Abu Dhabi in the efficient use of resources and lead to a better quality of life for everyone. The top priority of its plan is to minimize the impact of climate change, reduce water and air pollution to ensure healthy living standards and preserve the bio-diversity and habitats of animals.

The Government of Abu Dhabi announced an economic plan for the transformation of the emirate’s economy. The plan aims to further reduce the reliance on the oil sector as a source of economic activity and a greater focus on knowledge-based industries in the future. It aims to achieve this goal by building an efficient and effective globally integrated business environment, manage levels of inflation, support the labor market and enhance their skills.

Moreover, UAE has begun the construction of the largest single-site solar park in the world, The Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park. It is estimated to generate 1,000 Mega Watt by 2020 and 5,000 MW by 2030. The project aims to build the world’s tallest solar tower, measuring 260m. This project was originally started under the Dubai Clean Energy Strategy 2050 to promote the use of clean energy in Dubai’s total power output to 7% by 2020, 25% by 2030 and 75% by 2050.

CONCLUSION

The recent developments and achievements of the UAE has transformed it into a leading country in the world with constant innovations and increased international trade.It has managed to reduce the dependency on the energy sector considerably by investing heavily in manufacturing, tourism, IT sector. The UAE Economic Vision Plan 2021 and Abu Dhabi Economic Vision plan 2030 will further elevate the international standing of the UAE in the global politics as the leading economic country in the world.

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How America Is Crushing Europe

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America creates, imposes, and enforces the sanctions against Russia, which are forcing up energy-prices in Europe, and are thereby driving Europe’s corporations to move to America, where taxes, safety-and-environmental regulations, and the rights of labor, are far lower, and so profits will be far higher for the investors. Furthermore, America can supply its own energy. Therefore, supply-chains are less dicey in the U.S. than in Europe. There is less and less reason now for a firm to be doing anything in Europe except selling to Europeans, who are becoming increasingly desperate to get whatever they can afford to buy, now that Russia, which had been providing the lowest-cost energy and other commodities, is being strangled out of European markets, by the sanctions. Money can move even when its owner can’t. The European public will now be left farther and farther behind as Europe’s wealth flees — mainly to America (whose Government had created this capital-flight of Europe’s wealth).

Europe’s leaders have cooperated with America’s leaders, to cause this European decline (by joining, instead of rejecting, America’s sanctions against Russia), but Germany’s companies can also enjoy significant benefits from relocating or expanding in America. Germany’s business daily newspaper, Handlelsblatt, reported, on September 25th, “More and more German companies are expanding their locations in North America: Washington attracts German companies with cheap energy and low taxes. This applies above all to the southern states. Berlin is alarmed – and wants to take countermeasures.” (Original: “Immer mehr deutsche Unternehmen bauen ihre Standorte in Nordamerika aus: Washington lockt deutsche Firmen mit billiger Energie und niedrigen Steuern. Das gilt vor allem für die Südstaaten. Berlin ist alarmiert – und will gegensteuern.”) It says that “Numerous German companies are planning to set up or expand their U.S. locations. … U.S. states such as Virginia, Georgia, and Oklahoma, show increasing interest” in offering special inducements for these firms to relocate, or to at least expand, their production in the U.S. For example, Pat Wilson, Commissioner of the Georgia Department of Economic Development, tells German companies that, “Our energy costs are low, and the networks are stable. … Companies coming to Georgia [from Germany] are reducing their carbon footprint.” Considering that one of the major reasons why Germany’s Government is squeezing-out Russia’s fuel-supplies (other than to ‘support democracy in Ukraine’, etc.) is that those Russian supplies are fossil fuels, an important benefit by which America can attract European firms (even on the basis of ‘Green’ arguments) is by advertising bigger ‘energy efficiency’ than in Europe — not necessarily in a strictly environmental sense, but definitely in the bottom-line sense, of lowered energy-costs, since America’s regulations are far less strict than in the EU. 

Also on the 25th, the Irish Examiner bannered “European industry buckles under weight of soaring energy prices: Volkswagen, Europe’s biggest carmaker, warned last week that it could reallocate production out of Germany and eastern Europe if energy prices don’t come down.”

Also on the 25th, Oil Price dot com headlined “Europe Faces An Exodus Of Energy-Intensive Industries”, and mentioned especially that “the U.S. Steel giant ArcelorMittal said earlier this month that it would slash by half production at a steel mill in Germany and a unit at another plant, also in Germany. The company said it had based the decision on high gas prices. … ArcelorMittal earlier this year announced it had plans to expand a Texas operation.”

On September 26th, the New York Times bannered “Factory Jobs Are Booming Like It’s the 1970s: U.S. manufacturing is experiencing a rebound, with companies adding workers amid high consumer demand for products.” In total, “As of August this year, manufacturers had added back about 1.43 million jobs, a net gain of 67,000 workers above prepandemic levels.” And this is only the start of America’s re-industrialization and economic recovery, because the hemorrhaging of jobs from Europe has only just begun. These German firms are getting in on the ground floor in America, leaving Europe’s workers behind, to swim or sink on their own (the ones that can).

Also on September 26th, Thomas Fazi at unherd dot com headlined “The EU is sleepwalking into anarchy: Its sanctions are crippling the bloc’s working class”, and documented that this hollowing-out of Europe’s economies is being experienced the most by Europe’s lower economic classes, who are the least capable of dealing with it but are being abandoned by the higher-wealth group, the investors, who are sending their money abroad, like banana-republic oligarchs do, and who might easily relocate themselves there too. 

On September 19th, the New York Times headlined “‘Crippling’ Energy Bills Force Europe’s Factories to Go Dark: Manufacturers are furloughing workers and shutting down lines because they can’t pay the gas and electric charges.” For example, a major employer in northern France, Arc International glass factory, doesn’t know whether they will survive: “Nicholas Hodler, the chief executive, surveyed the assembly line, shimmering blue with natural gas flames [gas that came from Russia and that now costs ten times as much as just a year ago]. For years, Arc had been powered by cheap energy that helped turn the company into the world’s largest producer of glass tableware. … But the impact of Russia’s abrupt cutoff of gas to Europe [forced by the sanctions] has doused the business with new risks. Energy prices have climbed so fast that Mr. Hodler has had to rewrite business forecasts six times in two months. Recently, he put a third of Arc’s 4,500 employees on partial furlough to save money. Four of the factory’s nine furnaces will be idled; the others will be switched from natural gas to diesel, a cheaper but more polluting fuel.” The “Green” Parties throughout Europe, such as in the persons of Germany’s Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock, and Germany’s Minister for Economic Affairs and Climate Action Robert Habeck, had led the European movement against importing Russian fuels, and could turn out to have led Europe actually to increase its carbon footprint, if the end result turns out to be to switch to more coal and diesel fuels, as they now are doing.

It could not have happened without the leaderships both in America and in Europe, who are leading the way for Europe’s economies to decline, and for America’s to boom from this — attracting more and more investors, and their investments, into America, from the U.S. regime’s vassal-nations (such as Germany and France), especially in the EU and NATO (these new banana-republics). The beneficiaries of all this are not only America’s weapons-manufacturing firms, such as Lockheed Martin, and extraction firms such as ExxonMobil, that are growing because of the plunge in Europe that’s due to Europe’s cutting itself off from the cheap energy that it had formerly enjoyed. The future is opening up again, for investors in the United States. It’s come-one, come-all, to investors from Europe, and leaving everyone else in Europe simply to sink, if they can’t get out. 

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The Historic Day of Euro’s Downfall

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The date August 22 should be remembered as the day of the euro’s “official” downfall. After a long period of being one of the foremost currencies, the euro has now become cheaper than the U.S. dollar.

When the euro first came into existence, it fell sharply against the dollar. In 1999, the year that the currency came into existence, EUR 1 traded for USD 1.18. On October 26, 2000, the euro fell to a then-record low of USD 0.8228. However, it then appeared to have begun to experience a period of recovery. By early 2001, the euro had risen to USD 0.96. Then, it entered a period of relatively minor decline, with the lowest being USD 0.834 on July 6, 2001, after which the euro gained a firm footing.

The currency that had shown strength against the dollar at the start of this century. On July 15, 2002, the euro began to be close to 1:1 against the dollar. By the end of 2002, it reached USD 1.04 and then continued to soar. On May 23, 2003, for the first time, the euro surpassed the high of USD 1.18, the day when it was launched. This was a key turning point as it continued to rise since then.

The euro broke through USD 1.35 on December 24, 2004. On December 30, 2004, it hit USD 1.3668, a record high during that period. On August 13, 2007, it reached USD 1.37. On November 23, 2007, it was USD 1.49. Then, on April 22 and July 15, 2008, it reached its all-time high of USD 1.60 twice. Even after the 2008 financial crisis, when the euro entered a period of shocks, it still showed strong vitality. On February 8, 2014, EUR 1 at that time could trade for USD 1.3631.

Undeniably, the euro in the past was a rather strong currency in the world market, and it affected the economy and wealth of roughly 500 million people. However, during that time, the euro mainly benefited from the fact that interest rates in Europe were more attractive than that in the United States. This has all but changed now, as the Federal Reserve is raising interest rates continuously. The current interest rate level has far exceeded that of the pre-COVID-19 one. Fiscal deficits too, play a role in the euro’s decline. The U.S. fiscal deficit has long been a major problem. There have been numerous speculations that the scale of the U.S. debt would kill off its economy, yet this does not happen to this day. Hence, the debt of the U.S. government is not regarded as an absolute negative factor as it did in the past.

Europe is similar to the U.S. in many aspects. Whether it is the energy crisis or inflation, the problems felt by the U.S. are present in Europe too. However, Europe is currently experiencing the most tragic war in history after World War II, i.e., the war in Ukraine. On the basis of geopolitics, this war has fundamentally shaken the foundation of the euro. Although the euro will continue to fluctuate up and down against the dollar, the trend will undoubtedly be downward. Geopolitics has made the euro completely lost its advantages compared to the dollar. This is because the entire Europe itself is in a precarious state, close to losing its dominance over the European continent. Now, Europe can only assume a mere supporting role on the global geopolitical stage, no longer a protagonist.

The result of this is frightful. Euro is the most important symbol of the European Union, an aspiration of the EU for its future. It is not exaggerating to say that any major depreciation of the euro would signify the same for Europe as a whole. All euro assets will become worthless when that happens. As things stand, European lawmakers, intentionally or not, have ignored a crucial factor in deciding the fate of the euro, namely geopolitics. Its fundamentals have now been shaken, and it is no longer a reliable currency, but a risky one.

If the war represents the present, what will the future of the euro be?

Currency has a lot to do with credibility. The countries that are the main supporting pillars of the euro, such as France and Germany, have their real competency and moral level in regard to European affairs, being exposed in the recent war. This has severely hit the credibility of the euro. In the worst-case scenario, the two old European countries, France and Germany, will almost certainly request the U.S. for energy support in the future, and possibly even some kind of financial aid in extreme cases. Therefore, in the face of the weak prospect of the euro, it is completely understandable that these two European countries, which are the main countries of the euro, seem to be powerless and indifferent.

All in all, the realist attitude of France and Germany towards the war in Ukraine will only exacerbate the depreciation of the euro, and there is no other possibility. It is unfortunate that the politicians of these two countries have not only sold themselves to a certain extent, but they have also actually sold the future of Europe.

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Risk of Global Recession in 2023 Rises Amid Simultaneous Rate Hikes

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As central banks across the world simultaneously hike interest rates in response to inflation, the world may be edging toward a global recession in 2023 and a string of financial crises in emerging market and developing economies that would do them lasting harm, according to a comprehensive new study by the World Bank.

Central banks around the world have been raising interest rates this year with a degree of synchronicity not seen over the past five decades—a trend that is likely to continue well into next year, according to the report. Yet the currently expected trajectory of interest-rate increases and other policy actions may not be sufficient to bring global inflation back down to levels seen before the pandemic. Investors expect central banks to raise global monetary-policy rates to almost 4 percent through 2023—an increase of more than 2 percentage points over their 2021 average.

Unless supply disruptions and labor-market pressures subside, those interest-rate increases could leave the global core inflation rate (excluding energy) at about 5 percent in 2023—nearly double the five-year average before the pandemic, the study finds. To cut global inflation to a rate consistent with their targets, central banks may need to raise interest rates by an additional 2 percentage points, according to the report’s model. If this were accompanied by financial-market stress, global GDP growth would slow to 0.5 percent in 2023—a 0.4 percent contraction in per–capita terms that would meet the technical definition of a global recession.

“Global growth is slowing sharply, with further slowing likely as more countries fall into recession. My deep concern is that these trends will persist, with long-lasting consequences that are devastating for people in emerging market and developing economies,” said World Bank Group President David Malpass. To achieve low inflation rates, currency stability and faster growth, policymakers could shift their focus from reducing consumption to boosting production. Policies should seek to generate additional investment and improve productivity and capital allocation, which are critical for growth and poverty reduction.”

The study highlights the unusually fraught circumstances under which central banks are fighting inflation today. Several historical indicators of global recessions are already flashing warnings. The global economy is now in its steepest slowdown following a post-recession recovery since 1970. Global consumer confidence has already suffered a much sharper decline than in the run-up to previous global recessions. The world’s three largest economies—the United States, China, and the euro area—have been slowing sharply. Under the circumstances, even a moderate hit to the global economy over the next year could tip it into recession.

The study relies on insights from previous global recessions to analyze the recent evolution of economic activity and presents scenarios for 2022–24. A slowdown—such that the one now underway—typically calls for countercyclical policy to support activity. However, the threat of inflation and limited fiscal space are spurring policymakers in many countries to withdraw policy support even as the global economy slows sharply.

The experience of the 1970s, the policy responses to the 1975 global recession, the subsequent period of stagflation, and the global recession of 1982 illustrate the risk of allowing inflation to remain elevated for long while growth is weak. The 1982 global recession coincided with the second-lowest growth rate in developing economies over the past five decades, second only to 2020. It triggered more than 40 debt crises] and was followed by a decade of lost growth in many developing economies.

“Recent tightening of monetary and fiscal policies will likely prove helpful in reducing inflation,” said Ayhan Kose, the World Bank’s Acting Vice President for Equitable Growth, Finance, and Institutions. “But because they are highly synchronous across countries, they could be mutually compounding in tightening financial conditions and steepening the global growth slowdown. Policymakers in emerging market and developing economies need to stand ready to manage the potential spillovers from globally synchronous tightening of policies.”

Central banksshould persist in their efforts to control inflation—and it can be done without touching off a global recession, the study finds. But it will require concerted action by a variety of policymakers:

Central banks must communicate policy decisions clearly while safeguarding their independence. This could help anchor inflation expectations and reduce the degree of tightening needed. In advanced economies, central banks should keep in mind the cross-border spillover effects of monetary tightening. In emerging market and developing economies, they should strengthen macroprudential regulations and build foreign-exchange reserves. 

Fiscal authorities will need to carefully calibrate the withdrawal of fiscal support measures while ensuring consistency with monetary-policy objectives. The fraction of countries tightening fiscal policies next year is expected to reach its highest level since the early 1990s. This could amplify the effects of monetary policy on growth. Policymakers should also put in place credible medium-term fiscal plans and provide targeted relief to vulnerable households.

Other economic policymakers will need to join in the fight against inflation—particularly by taking strong steps to boost global supply. These include: 

  o  Easing labor-market constraints. Policy measures need to help increase labor-force participation and reduce price pressures. Labor-market policies can facilitate the reallocation of displaced workers.  

  o  Boosting the global supply of commodities. Global coordination can go a long way in increasing food and energy supply. For energy commodities, policymakers should accelerate the transition to low–carbon energy sources and introduce measures to reduce energy consumption. 

  o  Strengthening global trade networks. Policymakers should cooperate to alleviate global supply bottlenecks. They should support a rules-based international economic order, one that guards against the threat of protectionism and fragmentation that could further disrupt trade networks.

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