ME 'needs 90m jobs in next 20 years'
Sharm El Sheikh, May 19, 2008
The Middle East needs to create 90 million jobs in the next 20 years, it was claimed at The World Economic Forum (WEF).
That was the message from WEF co-chairman Mohammed Alshaya, who is also the executive chairman of M H Alshaya.
He was speaking during the 'The Making of a Middle Eastern Multinational' session.
"One of the biggest challenges for the future is ensuring that 90 million jobs are created within the Middle East in the next 20 years," he said.
"It is time for the emphasis to shift from government to the private sector. Time for both parties to agree their agenda and act together.
"Employment needs to become a priority - it doesn't get the focus it deserves".
At the earlier panel session he drew on his own experience leading the expansion of M H Alshaya from a local, to a regional and finally an international business operating in 16 markets, with 1,400 stores and 14,000 employees in a little over two decades.
He said the time was right for companies to broaden their vision,
"While there continues to be plenty of potential for growth in the Middle East there is a plenty of opportunity outside for our region's businesses," he said.
"You have to have credibility - to really know what you're doing, and the ability to go to market with speed.
"Quick decision making is also important. Being entrepreneurial means taking risks and being constantly on the lookout for new opportunities.
"This particularly is a quality that needs to be rediscovered in the Middle East, and is the key to creating new jobs in the region.
"Having the right talent in your organisation is critical, and our educational systems have to rise to the challenge of preparing the region's talent properly for the roles they need to step into. Widening your geographical focus also takes commitment - this is not something that you can be successful at if your approach is half-hearted," Alshaya noted.-TradeArabia News Service