Page 11 - CSA Speaker Bulletin September 2016 | CSA Celebrity Speakers
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because it could usher in further           avoid hot conflict spots; while happily   can only increase transparency and
FDI, and know-how. It should also           yielding the defence of the Middle East   better governance in the economies
help rationalise public expenditures        oil to Western powers, for now.           of the region. People understand
-- something the region direly needs.                                                 risk in the region, but assessing it
Also, as family businesses transition via           “People                           methodically and discussing it overtly is
succession planning, new opportunities         understand risk                        the emergent next step.
in M&A are becoming available, and            in the ME region,
this is a trend that will only grow as          but assessing                         Q.What role do
wealth is passed on from father to son         it methodically                                      entrepreneurs have in
(or daughter!).                                and discussing                                       changing the face of
                                               it overtly is the                      wealth creation in MENA?
Q.Geopolitics is an                            emergent next
              essential key in the                                                    The rise of entrepreneurship
              world of the energy                    step.”                           throughout MENA has the potential
industry. How do you see the                                                          of fundamentally transforming these
relationship between ME vs                  Q.Risk management: do                     economies, capturing international
China developing?                                         you consider this a key     attention, and attracting foreign direct
                                                          skill around the ME         investment. Some of the most intelligent
Since the Arab revolutions began,           Region?                                   and dynamic minds in the region are on
China’s national oil companies                                                        a mission to promote entrepreneurship,
suffered setbacks to their investments      In most parts of the Middle East          and we are starting to see the impact
in politically unstable countries such      businesses have a very good               of this focus. The region is naturally
as Iraq, Libya and Syria. China is now      understanding of risk, having navigated   predisposed, through the presence of
relaxing its traditional non-intervention   political and security fault lines since  large proportions of networked and
policy to maintain and expand its           their inception. But a more professional  connected youth in every country, and
economic interests in MENA. But it is       and strategic approach to risk is also    through the availability of liquidity.
highly unlikely that China’s greater        emerging, particularly in economies       Harnessing the energies of the region
political activism in the Middle East       that had not been accustomed to           and properly channelling this to the
and its growing economic stake will         geopolitical risk resulting in domestic   requisite funding, is the challenge, but
translate into military activism. China     implications. Change is starting to       we are starting to see the impact of
is clearly trying to avoid being sucked     become visible in several GCC countries   connecting ideas with finance. n
into the increasingly complex MENA          and it is sometimes being driven top
vortex. Unlike its active military role in  down. For example, the Saudi National
territorial disputes in the South China     Transformation Program (NTP) has
Sea, China seems happy to assume a          some risk management frameworks
back-seat role to the Americans and         embedded into it. Such governmental
the Europeans in the MENA region,           level adoption of risk management
particularly when it comes to securing      could help businesses converse with
MENA oil fields and shipping lanes.         governments on such matters, and this
China will probably be content to
continue its back-seat political ride
and instead concentrate on developing
its presence in the maritime periphery
and Indian Ocean. Therefore, China
will be expected to continue to deepen
its economic and political ties with
the MENA region; establish new trade
routes and diversify its commerce;

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