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2017 and beyond: Biggest risks to the region outlined

It is hard to pinpoint the greatest risk to the region...it depends on which sector of the economy you’re in

“There are considerable economic headwinds for the Gulf region in 2017,” Richard Smith-Bingham, Director of the Global Risk Center at Marsh & McLennan Companies, said in an interview on Sunday.

The growth of Gulf countries over the past two has been hit by a plateau in trade, a persistent low oil price environment and fiscal weaknesses.

This is the historical backdrop to the set of questions that now face the region following the political resets of 2016, according to Smith-Bingham.

He is the author of the World Economic Forum’s Global Risks Report 2017, released in January at the nonprofit’s annual conference in Davos, Switzerland.

Traumatic year

“For most, 2016 was a traumatic year. The question is what does it mean for 2017 and beyond?”

It is hard to pinpoint the greatest risk to the region, said Smith-Bingham, adding it depends on which sector of the economy you’re in.

“If you’re a manufacturer exporting across the Gulf then it’s the overall strength of the regional economy that’ll be the critical thing,” he said.

If you’re trying to build out your business in the US, on the other hand, then there are a particular set of political and economic roadblocks ahead to that, he continued.

Key threats to the region

Key threats to the region Smith-Bingham cited included cybersecurity, protectionism, low oil prices and demographic issues.

The Gulf has been suffering under low oil prices since the crash in 2014, with an agreed output cut from...Read more...

Source: gulfnews.com