The protest on Economy in Middle East

by Amit Bhushan on Monday 1 January 2018, 4:53 PM | Category: Economy | View: 180 views

The protest on Economy in Middle East

                                             By: Amit Bhushan                            Date: 1st Jan. 2018


The protest related to Economic Management in some of the Middle Eastern countries needs to be noted. Not because it points to anything new as these tensions were always being depicted albeit in smaller doses, but in the overall gamut of affairs. This is because it comes close to the heels when an important trigger was left simmering in the form of some political moves around some of the ‘holy city' in contention between followers of different ‘faiths'. Given this backdrop, it points to the reduced ability of the Leaders to fend the core concerns of the population and channelize these energies to external events related to ‘faith'. Thus the ‘conflict' of the people in relation to religion seems to be at wane, but the ‘conflict in relation to economics' seem to be rising. It also points that an increased focus towards ‘domestic economic management' is now being ‘demanded' and a greater appreciation of ‘rights' which is taking form of a ‘right to protest or mass-protest' being taken for granted. The action of authorities to act against ‘social media' goes on to show the fear against virtual assembly of people and views, which seems at heightened levels.

These protest are also happening when there is a relative ‘better' pricing for ‘oil' in international market than in immediate past. So the governments seem to being implored to put the energies back towards internal development rather than ‘outside conflict', ‘regional chauvinism' or for ‘defense' etc. Though some may conclude that the ‘old hand' in ‘politics' of these nations may itself be demanding somewhat better balance to take care of their ‘interests', however the public assembly and street protest, point to a greater rise of an average ‘Joe' wanting to improve economic mobility and trying to shatter the glass-walls which have restricted them. What has remained a hallmark of many nations in the region is rather a generous dose of social security on the back of ‘oil revenues' that was designed to ‘maintain social order'. Most of the economic activity remained in the hands of the few based on ‘right connections'. Thus innovation and enterprise remained subdued instead of thriving. While the ‘rising' seems to be a pointer in this direction, but ‘mass protest' with throttling of ‘ideas' with impunity, point to an upper hand for those in power. The divergence of population from any ‘core set of ideas' is an easy way to fend-off the protestors as a bunch of trouble-creators out there for ‘nothing'. There seems little to point as of now that any of the regional powers might be considering promoting entrepreneurship and innovation in a big and transparent way or any significant ‘change' from the past.

There might also be growing need to develop an understanding in the region as to what would help them to support development elsewhere and become a beneficial participant so that domestic entrepreneurs can have a stake in global opportunities as well. The domestic market structure may also need to balance the interests in line with the changing consumption patterns for the region's produce and also support a greater level competition and more opportunities as well as options for domestic population. The falling prices of ‘oil' have clearly shown the vulnerability of the region regards its continued dependence on a single source for revenues. The high ‘oil' revenues were used to maintain a relatively high domestic income levels for much of the population with a rise for ‘trade' based economy and the resultant consumption pattern was mostly around ‘luxury goods (relative to other regions with similar level of domestic competence)'.Now there might be a greater need to drive other competence and value adding activities to grow so that a greater fraction of population can participate in economic activity rather than just living off ‘oil'. Given this backdrop, it seems to be an imperative that the nations in the region adopt policies that help them to facilitate entry of a large number of ‘suppliers to competitive products and services that can be targeted to different segments of population to develop the market to a much greater extent'. This would be a precursor to be a push for a greater value addition by these players within the domestic settings of these nations/region.


Since there is now a need to give domestic workers to add greater value in industry as well as in services, there is likelihood of rise of domestic languages usage in business and for software to facilitate the same. This is going to be a break from past wherein the business was mostly dominated by global corporations via their domestic front and the language for such business was either English or that of their domestic country and thus a revival of local culture after years of neglect or being in duress at the hands of religious satraps (note that the overall culture is seen here as a much wider thing than just religious bigotry and culture dominates how religion evolves or its interpretation in different circumstances). This is likely to pose fresh challenges for the expatriates and migrants, which would raise the demand for skill levels from them to be able to survive in a toughening market, although this might be an extrapolation of the situation over the next 10 years (and unlikely for the smaller less populous nations of the region). The likelihood of focus on policies and projects to further improve logistics, or improvement infra so that energy intensive manufacturing can expand further, rise in local assembling units for electrical/electronic/ automobile for domestic/regional consumption seems much more likely along with packaging/branding and distributions of these goods so as to favour domestic jobs. While the wishlist of the local population may be more, but let's see the ‘Game' evolve…

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