Saudi Arabia on right economic road — even according to ‘Dr. Doom’ Nouriel Roubini

Nouriel Roubini urged the Kingdom to press on with its Vision 2030 plan. (AN Photo)
Updated 12 April 2019
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Saudi Arabia on right economic road — even according to ‘Dr. Doom’ Nouriel Roubini

  • Nouriel Roubini: It’s a long term plan, but if it’s implemented right and consistently it could be successful and Saudi Arabia could become a prosperous country
  • Roubini: I think that both President Trump and President Xi need a trade deal, so they’ll reach an agreement

BAHRAIN: Economist Nouriel Roubini famously predicted the global financial crisis of 2008, earning himself the nickname “Dr. Doom” in the process.

But even he is not gloomy about the potential of Saudi Arabia’s reform plans — which he believes will make the country thrive if continued in the right way.

Speaking to Arab News at the Top CEO conference in Bahrain, Roubini urged the Kingdom to press on with its Vision 2030 plan, which aims to wean the country off its addiction to oil.

“It’s a long term plan, but if it’s implemented right and consistently it could be successful and Saudi Arabia could become a prosperous country,” he said.

“Economically there is an ambitious program of modernization because the young leader-to-be has realized that, with a youth bulge and a high unemployment rate you have to modernize and open up the economy, give jobs and opportunity to people.”

Roubini, who teaches at New York University’s Stern School of Business, said he did not believe a global financial crisis is imminent.

“I do not see another global financial crisis in the next year or so, but eventually there will be a global recession. If and when that occurs is a very open question, but it’s not over the near horizon.”

Roubini, who told the audience that today he would rather be known as “Dr. Realist” than “Dr. Doom,” said he was more optimistic on global trade, although he expressed some cynicism over US President Donald Trump.

“I think that both President Trump and President Xi need a trade deal, so they’ll reach an agreement. Trump will declare victory whatever deal they reach.”

Meanwhile the conference was also told that the Arab region, like the rest of the world, needed to embrace change or face failure.

And that change, delegates were told, must include an increase in the representation of women in the workplace at a senior level.


India suspends Kashmir border trade with Pakistan

Updated 19 April 2019
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India suspends Kashmir border trade with Pakistan

  • Kashmir has been on edge since a February suicide attack that killed 40 Indian paramilitaries
  • India said it had reports that trade on the border was being “misused by Pakistan-based elements for funnelling illegal weapons, narcotics and fake currency”

NEW DELHI: India has suspended trade across its disputed Kashmir border with Pakistan, alleging that weapons and drugs are being smuggled across the route, as tensions simmer between the nuclear-armed neighbors.
Kashmir has been on edge since a February suicide attack that killed 40 Indian paramilitaries and brought the two countries to the brink of war with cross-border air strikes.
On Thursday, India’s government, which is in the middle of a tough national election, said it had reports that trade on the border was being “misused by Pakistan-based elements for funnelling illegal weapons, narcotics and fake currency.”
It also said many of those trading across the Line of Control, which divides Kashmir into zones under Indian and Pakistani control, had links to militant organizations.
The home ministry said trade would be suspended until a stricter inspection mechanism is in place.
The cross-border trade is based on a barter system, with traders exchanging goods including chillies, cumin, mango and dried fruit.
It began in 2008 as a way to improve strained relations between New Delhi and Islamabad, who have fought two of their three wars over the disputed region.
The Indian Express newspaper said Friday that 35 trucks carrying fruit traveling from the Indian side of the border had been stopped after the government order.
Trade on the border has been suspended before, including in 2015, when India accused a Pakistani driver of drug trafficking.
The latest move comes after India withdrew “Most Favoured Nation Status” — covering trade links — from Pakistan after the February attack, which was claimed by the Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammed Islamist group.
Islamabad has denied any involvement in the attack.
India’s Hindu nationalist Prime Minister Narendra Modi has made national security a key plank of his re-election campaign, pointing to the recent flare-up of violence as he battles the center-left opposition Congress party.
He is seeking a second term from the country’s 900 million voters in the mammoth election which kicked off on April 11 and runs till May 19. The results will be out on May 23.