Middle East Drove Economic Developments Around the World
The last century has been about oil, wherein the Middle East countries played a key role in political and economic developments around the world. And now, the region is at a turning point. It is slowly and steadily stepping away from fossil fuels and embracing green energy.
Saudi Arabia is leading this renaissance and influencing the entire global economic order. Its leading the Middle East from its roots in hydrocarbons into culture, tourism, sports, entertainment, technology and finance.
Groups Bullying Countries Diversifying Economy
But this beginning of a new era is being met with criticism of so-called sportswashing or splashing of oil-money as stated by some reports. There are various organizations, like the Freedom Forward that is focusing on the regional countries’ oil production and profits and human rights issues. It has been running several campaigns urging masses to vote no on PGA Tour merging with Saudi Arabia’s Golf League. Golfers have been criticized for choosing money over the sport itself. While urging people to vote against the merger, Freedom Forward failed to mention that PGA Tour is cash strapped and needs funding.
Unable to target western countries and their governance, Freedom Forward seems to be okay with bullying Saudi Arabia, accusing it of money laundering wealth funds. While targeting wealth funds in the Middle East, it fails to draw attention to black money kept in Swiss Banks or offshore accounts. It doesn’t highlight Norway’s Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute, the largest in the world.
Freedom Forward makes no mention of billionaire George Soros, who has toppled regimes around the world, targeting democracies and gave rise to political parties with his funds.
To allow a country, a region that has been for a century highly been dependent on oil, needs time and patience. They just cannot be pushed down into a well. Several regional oil producers are staying on their present route that is, pursuing their respective economic interests by maximizing oil export revenues through balanced relations with the main players – dominant countries.
Time and space should be given to them to adopt a resilient oil strategy. They need resources to increase market shares of the non-energy use of hydrocarbon products and expand investments in and ownership of clean energy technologies.
Countries Want to Boost Economy
An EY report rightly stated that the architects of the Middle East region’s new era are its governments. “Their actions have galvanized the economy and inspired society. They are masters of the mission-oriented approach to economic accomplishment, coordinating the public and private sectors at a massive scale to radically change the mechanisms that create value.”
Saudi Arabia’s ambitious Vision 2030 is a good example. It aims to bring about a holistic growth to the kingdom – construction of smart cities, tourism and cultural projects are underway, green energy projects, and inclusivity of women. This is a commendable initiative.
Countries just cannot turn off their oil and gas producers. It is a challenge. And not all can afford green energy. Countries in the world are at different stages of development, some are highly developed and technologically driven, while some are still trying to get electricity to their houses. The responsibilities and challenges are huge.