|ENSHAA CEO: 5% GDP growth in UAE possible by end of 2011 if targets for productivity and good governance met|
Raza Jafar, CEO of ENSHAA and member of the global philanthropy circle, has told the tenth annual Forbes Global CEO Conference that the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) economies are bouncing back, but more needs to be done to attract investors and encourage international levels of competitiveness.
Speaking to a session full of top leaders from different sectors in tens of countries, Mr. Jafar painted a mixed picture. Providing a wide-angle view of the investment climate in the Gulf, and a both historical and prospective analysis of the region, Mr. Jafar gave several observations.
"This is an exciting time full of potential. But more initiatives are needed to ensure a productive workforce, and more support must be mobilized in order to attract foreign investments back to the region. In addition, regional success stories are needed to inspire strategic and impact-oriented philanthropy."
"The countries of the GCC have been experiencing rapid economic growth. Over the past ten years, real GDP has grown on average 6,2% per annum while region's population has increased by 11 million people, or 37%. While GCC dependence on oil is indisputable, the GCC have been investing heavily in the post -hydrocarbon economy of tomorrow."
Productivity, he says, will increase "at a rate which at least compensates for the period of stagnation over the past couple of years, and with new initiatives and regulations attracting further FDI, we can hopefully see 5% GDP growth in the UAE by end 2011 - a lofty and achievable goal".
Mr. Jafar, also said on the importance of creating a philanthropy culture among GCC companies, "Triple Bottom Line is not an award, accreditation or a certification you can achieve - it's an ongoing process that just helps a company keep on track towards running a sustainable business and demonstrates to the community at large they are working not just towards riches, but the greater common good - and that's what consumers are increasingly wanting to see these days".
"The GCC economies are bouncing back. After marginal growth, an outflow of capital during the financial crisis, and the downturn in the property markets of the Gulf, we're seeing some bullish trend on other parts of the economy now, and optimism is back at wide sectors though the property sector and stock markets remain lagging behind." says Jafar.
"And Saudi in particular will witness solid growth due to large government spending on local infrastructure, allowing SMEs to benefit and grow from just subcontracting and services-related projects".
"With the right, coordinated approach, and a medium and long-term vision, the GCC countries can be setting an example for the rest of the world within no time at all", he said.