Artificial Intelligence could add $320bn to GCC and Egypt economies by 2030: report

Artificial intelligence is allowing robots to perform increasingly sophisticated tasks. (AFP)
Updated 12 February 2018
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Artificial Intelligence could add $320bn to GCC and Egypt economies by 2030: report

LONDON: Artificial intelligence is set to swell the GCC and Egypt’s economies to the tune of $320 billion by 2030, according to a report.
Globally, the economic uplift could be to the magnitude of $15.7 trillion, more than the current output of China and India combined, according to a report by professional services firm PwC.
Within that increase, $6.6 trillion is likely to come from increased productivity, while $9.1 trillion is likely to come from benefits to consumers.
Artificial intelligence (AI) is a collective term for computer systems that can sense their environment, think, learn, and take action in response to what they are sensing and their objectives. AI is rapidly evolving, with current technology including autopilots, digital assistants and chatbots.
In the economies of the GCC and Egypt, the UAE and Saudi Arabia are expected to particularly benefit from the rise of AI, with PwC predicting it could contribute to almost 14 percent of UAE GDP by 2030. This is followed by KSA at 12.4 percent, the “GCC4” (Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman and Qatar) at 8.2 percent, and lastly by Egypt at 7.7 percent.
The report reveals there are untapped opportunities that could increase the impact of AI on the Middle East’s economies, if governments continue to push the boundaries of innovation and the implementation of AI across businesses and sectors between now and 2030.
“The future strategy of governments in the region, particularly in the UAE and KSA, indicate a strong push toward the development of AI technologies, for example Vision 2030 in KSA and the government’s AI Strategy in the UAE,” Richard Boxshall, senior economist at PwC Middle East, told Arab News.
The first wave of the AI revolution consists of largely known technological innovations that are either adoption-ready or are currently being fine-tuned for broader implementation. Beyond 2030, the scope of AI impacting both the economy and society overall will almost certainly increase, so it is important for the Middle East to be strategically placed in order to provide a springboard for the future, PwC said in a statement.
Fears of AI taking over human jobs have been voiced regularly but according to PwC this should not be a concern: “It is likely that in the coming years as AI is developed we will see a shift in the types of jobs performed by humans, but not necessarily a reduction in the number of jobs,” Boxshall said.
In the UAE, AI is at the forefront of the government’s strategic plans, with government representatives at the recent World Economic Forum touting how the country is embracing the technology.
At the sectoral level, the most significant gains in absolute terms are expected in the construction and manufacturing sectors, which are expected to account for almost a third of the entire benefits to the Middle East region, equivalent to almost $100 billion by 2030.


Deutsche Bank to cut over 7,000 jobs

Updated 24 May 2018
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Deutsche Bank to cut over 7,000 jobs

FRANKFURT: Deutsche Bank said on Thursday it will reduce global staff levels to well below 90,000 from the current 97,000, as part of a broad restructuring to reduce costs and restore profitability.

The bank said it would cut headcount by 25 percent in its equities sales and trading business following a review of the business.

The reductions will decrease the investment bank’s leverage exposure by €100 billion ($117 billion), or 10 percent, with most of the cuts to take place this year, Deutsche said.

“We remain committed to our Corporate & Investment Bank and our international presence – we are unwavering in that,” Chief Executive Officer Christian Sewing said in a statement.

“We are Europe’s alternative in the international financing and capital markets business. However, we must concentrate on what we truly do well.”

The details on the bank’s strategy come ahead of the bank’s annual general meeting on Thursday.

Shareholders, fed up with a languishing share price and dwindling revenues, said they would call on the bank’s management to speed up the recovery process at the AGM.

The loss-making bank said after an abrupt management reshuffle last month that it aimed to scale back its global investment bank and refocus on Europe and its home market after three consecutive years of losses. It had flagged cuts to US bond trading, equities, and the business that serves hedge funds.

Thursday’s shareholder meeting comes after months of turmoil for the lender, Germany’s largest.

Deutsche Bank Chairman Paul Achleitner last month abruptly replaced CEO John Cryan with Sewing amid investor complaints that the bank was falling behind in executing a turnaround plan.

Deutsche’s shares are down more than 31 percent so far this year.

The bank is also under pressure from credit ratings agencies. Standard & Poor’s is expected to say by the end of the month whether it will cut Deutsche Bank’s rating after putting it on “credit watch” in April.