UAE’s Minister of Future: Imagination, ideas are the commodities of the future

UAE’s Minister of Cabinet Affairs and the Future Mohammed Al-Gergawi delivers his opening remarks. (Screengrab)
Updated 10 February 2019

UAE’s Minister of Future: Imagination, ideas are the commodities of the future

  • World Government Summit 2019 kicks off in Dubai
  • UAE Cabinet Affairs Minister says governments need to change

DUBAI: Imagination and ideas are the commodities of the future, UAE’s Minister of Cabinet Affairs and the Future Mohammed Al-Gergawi said during the opening speech at Dubai’s World Government Summit on Sunday.

“Whoever owns these ideas and this imagination, will own the future,” Gergawi said, adding that “the wars of the future will be on ideas.”

Gergawi highlighted many factors that have put governments in the backseat of development as private sectors invest more and more into research and development programs. 

“Government, in their old form, cannot impact on the future, the private sector now impacts the future and we see this in the different economic and livelihood sectors,” he said.

The Emirati minister also touched on data protection, he said private companies know “when we eat, when we sleep, when we wake up, where we travel and even how many beats our heart’s beat.”

Speaking alongside Gergawi was the World Economic Forum’s executive chairman Klaus Schwab who also spoke of the danger of a global system “spinning out of control.”

“Global growth is slowing down, but global risks are increasing,” Schwab told a packed conference hall at Dubai’s Mina A’Salam hotel, “it is a system under stress, and the consequences are very dire.”

Schwab spoke of the need to move forward with globalization, and to be “more sustainable, more inclusive, to be a more multi-stakeholder globalization, and to be re-moralized.”

“All stakeholders of society must play a role in globalization, not just governments,” Schwab said.

On Saturday, the International Monetary Fund’s chief, Christine Lagarde, spoke of the challenges facing the Middle East, with rise in corruption, poor governance and lack of transparency. 

The World Government Summit, in its seventh edition, runs for three days of high-level discussion and debate by world thought leaders from the worlds of public policy, business and entertainment.

Pakistan's Prime Minister Imran Khan, actor Harrison Ford and Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri are among 4,000 delegates who will attend the three-day event, along with Estonia’s prime minister Jüri Ratas and President of Rwanda Paul Kagame.

Apart from the politicians, the summit also brings in more than 30 global organizations such as the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, and Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.


Russia vows cooperation with OPEC to keep oil market balanced

Updated 21 November 2019

Russia vows cooperation with OPEC to keep oil market balanced

  • Moscow not aiming to be world’s No.1 crude producer, Putin tells annual investment forum

MOSCOW: President Vladimir Putin said on Wednesday that Russia and the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) have “a common goal” of keeping the oil market balanced and predictable, and Moscow will continue cooperation under the global supply curbs deal.

OPEC meets on Dec. 5 in Vienna, followed by talks with a group of other exporters, including Russia, known as OPEC+.

“Our (common with OPEC) goal is for the market to be balanced, acceptable for producers and consumers and the most important — and I want to underline this — predictable,” Putin told a forum on Wednesday.

In October, Russia cut its oil output to 11.23 million barrels per day (bpd) from 11.25 million bpd in September but it was still higher than a 11.17-11.18 million bpd cap set for Moscow under the existing global deal. Putin told the forum that Russia’s oil production was growing slightly despite the supply curbs deal but Moscow was not aiming to be the world’s No. 1 crude producer. Currently, the US is the world’s top oil producer.

“Russia has a serious impact on the global energy market but the most impact we achieve (is) when working along with other key producers,” he said. “There was a moment not that long ago when Russia was the world’s top oil producer — this is not our goal.”

Russia plans to produce between 556 million and 560 million tons of oil this year (11.17-11.25 million bpd), Energy Minister Alexander Novak said separately on Wednesday, depending on the volume of gas condensate produced during cold months.

Russia will aim to stick to its commitments under the deal in November, Novak told reporters.

Russia includes gas condensate — a side product also known as a “light oil” produced when companies extract natural gas — into its overall oil production statistics, which some other oil producing countries do not do.

As Russia is gradually increasing liquefied natural gas production (LNG), the share of gas condensate it is producing is also growing. Gas condensate now accounts for around 6 percent of Russian oil production.

Novak told reporters that in winter, Russia traditionally produces more gas condensate as it is launching new gas fields in the freezing temperatures.

“We believe that gas condensate should not be taken into account (of overall oil production statistics), as this is an absolutely different area related to gas production and gas supplies,” he said.

Three sources told Reuters on Tuesday that Russia is unlikely to agree to deepen cuts in oil output at a meeting with fellow exporters next month, but could commit to extend existing curbs to support Saudi Arabia.

On Wednesday, Novak declined to say that Russia’s position would be at upcoming OPEC+ meeting. Reuters uses a conversion rate of 7.33 barrels per ton of oil.