Sheikh Mohammed. Image courtesy: Wam
Let's leave behind Arab market dream: Sheikh Mohammed
DUBAI, February 13, 2017
The Arab Common Market is an old dream and not worth pursuing since the world has changed a lot since it was mooted, said UAE Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum.
Sheikh Mohammed made the remarks today while addressing a panel of the World Government Summit.
"It is an old dream. The (Arab) commerce ministers are still dreaming of the Arab Common Market. The world has changed and became a common global market. I tell them, it is time to leave that 70s rhetoric behind you and open to the world. Why should I open to neighbours in the time of cross-border trade," he was quoted as saying in a Wam news agency report.
He gave the UAE national carriers as example by saying: "Our planes today carry passengers to China and Brazil. Other planes serve 260 airports around the world. Tourists come from everywhere. Trade is open. We currently have confirmed plane orders for a total value of Dh100 billion. Today, the world is open. We take goods from China and import them to the Americas and Africa."
Sheikh Mohammed also spoke about corruption, saying it is the root cause for failure of governments and states.
"In some countries, you can feel, see corruption from the moment you set foot on the airport. It has the order of the day in those countries, but in the UAE, I promise you, His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan and I, will never tolerate corruption. We are responsible before Allah the Almighty and before our people that no mistake will go unpunished."
On his recent visit to Dubai Municipality, he said: "Some senior officials were doing very good in the past. I was closely following their performance through reports of the secret shoppers and I tried to give them a room to develop. But some of them thought I forgot them. After thorough review and consultations, we decided to refer them to retirement. We honoured and thanked them and pumped a new blood in the municipality."
Sheikh Mohammed said some media outlets in the Arab world turned into sectarian platforms, forcing people to resort to social media to avoid the stations that instigate conflicts.
Sheikh Mohammed said the first thing he focused on when he became the ruler was excellence.
"I managed to create a competition among the different departments. I once asked the media to publish a list of the five worst departments. That was enough motivation for those departments to move fast. When I was asked to join the federal government, some friends and advisors were a little skeptical. They told me: you managed to help Dubai succeed but the federal government is full of red tape and literally bankrupt. Now, with the help of my brothers the leaders and the ministers, I can say our federal government is by far ahead of other governments."