By Gavin Gibbon
UAE Minister of State Zaki Nusseibeh says countries must work together to address global issues
UAE Minister of State Zaki Nusseibeh believes countries must work closely together in a post Covid-19 world but stressed efforts must be taken to “make this globalisation less toxic to those sectors of society that it left behind”.
According to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) over 170 countries will experience negative per capita income growth in the coming year, while further reports suggest up to 250 million people across the globe could be pushed into starvation or abject poverty.
Nusseibeh, who was speaking at a webinar entitled ‘How will the events of 2020 change the course of history’, organised by Emirates Literature Foundation, said: “We need to see how we can help them.”
The UAE has fashioned itself as an international hub, having welcomed around eight million expats to the country, who have helped build its infrastructure and economy over the last 50 years.
Nusseibeh admitted he is very keen for that type of cooperation to continue going forward.
“I believe we are at a crossroads,” he said. “But we in the emirates continue to believe very strongly in the need for the international community to come and work together to resolve the issues that are coming on the table.”
The outbreak of the deadly Covid-19 pandemic, which has infected over 6.4 million people worldwide and claimed the lives of more than 382,000, has led to many predicting a shortening in supply chains.
David Stubbs, head of market strategy and advice at JP Morgan Private Bank, previously told Arabian Business: “I think a key trend we will see is a gradual shortening of supply chains around the world as companies realise that they can’t rely on a single location (China) as much as they thought they could because there was the trade war with the US and obviously the potential health concerns and construction of viruses.
“And furthermore I think you will see a general pressure from governments to companies to build more resilience into supply chains and efficiency.”
Joining Nusseibeh on the webinar was Indian politician Shashi Tharoor, who believed that “we are in for a major structural shake-up of the world economy and national economies”.
He added: “There’s a real risk of trade barriers going up and many people are talking about more self-reliance and more protectionism, multinational organisations coming under pressure to relocate closer to home.”
While this may be the case in certain instances, Nusseibeh said the UAE is committed to the global economy.
He said: “For me and the UAE, our view point is, as we look at this restructuring of the world economy, we need to think how we can work together. Obviously there are certain areas where the chains of supply have to be rethought, where for instance our food security has to be prioritised and more investments put into it, but at the same time we continue to work for the integration of this world economy.”