Saudi Arabia on right economic road — even according to ‘Dr. Doom’ Nouriel Roubini

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Time: April 12, 2019  

Nouriel Roubini urged the Kingdom to press on with its Vision 2030 plan. (AN Photo)
  • Nouriel Roubini: It’s a long term plan, but if it’s implemented right and consistently it could be successful and Saudi Arabia could become a prosperous country
  • Roubini: I think that both President Trump and President Xi need a trade deal, so they’ll reach an agreement

BAHRAIN: Economist Nouriel Roubini famously predicted the global financial crisis of 2008, earning himself the nickname “Dr. Doom” in the process.

But even he is not gloomy about the potential of Saudi Arabia’s reform plans — which he believes will make the country thrive if continued in the right way.

Speaking to Arab News at the Top CEO conference in Bahrain, Roubini urged the Kingdom to press on with its Vision 2030 plan, which aims to wean the country off its addiction to oil.

“It’s a long term plan, but if it’s implemented right and consistently it could be successful and Saudi Arabia could become a prosperous country,” he said.

“Economically there is an ambitious program of modernization because the young leader-to-be has realized that, with a youth bulge and a high unemployment rate you have to modernize and open up the economy, give jobs and opportunity to people.”

Roubini, who teaches at New York University’s Stern School of Business, said he did not believe a global financial crisis is imminent.

“I do not see another global financial crisis in the next year or so, but eventually there will be a global recession. If and when that occurs is a very open question, but it’s not over the near horizon.”

Roubini, who told the audience that today he would rather be known as “Dr. Realist” than “Dr. Doom,” said he was more optimistic on global trade, although he expressed some cynicism over US President Donald Trump.

“I think that both President Trump and President Xi need a trade deal, so they’ll reach an agreement. Trump will declare victory whatever deal they reach.”

Meanwhile the conference was also told that the Arab region, like the rest of the world, needed to embrace change or face failure.

And that change, delegates were told, must include an increase in the representation of women in the workplace at a senior level.

This article was first published in Arab News

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