Dr. Zogby’s remarks came during a talk hosted by the Dubai School of Government (DSG), a leading research and teaching institution focusing on public policy in the Arab world. Attended by business leaders, distinguished academics, government officials and students, the event saw Dr. Zogby highlighting key findings from the ‘2009 Oliver Wyman/Zogby International Poll of GCC Business Confidence’.
The survey comprises opinions of over 126 c-suite executives from select industries in Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and the UAE. It reveals that business conditions in the region are expected to improve in the next two years even if some of the UAE-based executives have expressed mixed sentiments.
Dr. Zogby, said:
“Our core focus in conducting the poll was to explore the business confidence index in the region. Together with Oliver Wymen, we wanted to draw a trajectory of attitudes of the c-class executives and delineate their opinions, concerns and foresight for the future. Our research outlines the general attitude of executives in the region, with the number speaking for themselves. In the future, we would like to expand the field of research and track the shifting attitudes and perceptions of the elite group while mapping out the economic dynamics and challenges.”
Dr. Zogby added, “During the economic crisis, the regional business confidence was led by Saudi Arabia where the individuals felt nurtured by their government. Over 67% of the respondents in Saudi Arabia were satisfied by the way their government handled the crisis, while 47% of the respondents in the UAE expressed confidence. Interestingly, many believe the crisis is expected to slow down reforms with the main reason being vested interests.”
In the poll, the UAE received greatest confidence from respondents with 60% stating that the country has set the standard for business friendly reform, 45% for government reform and 46% for educational reform. At the same time, the poll also revealed that changes are still required across the GCC, most pressingly on education and labour reforms.
Dr. Tarik Yousef, Dean of the Dubai School of Government, said, “Dr. Zogby’s and Oliver Wyman’s extensive research into the confidence of executives in the region has offered us a deeper understanding of the current market situation. To better grasp the market sentiment, he has pointed out the importance of reforms, especially in education and labour reform. Fundamentally, it is of utmost importance for our local and regional governing bodies to continue laying the ground and building market confidence, while steering the regional business engine in the right direction.”
Since 1985, Dr. James J. Zogby and the Arab American Institute (AAI) have led Arab American efforts to secure political empowerment in the US through voter registration, education and mobilization, while moving Arab Americans into the political mainstream. A lecturer and scholar on Middle East issues, US-Arab relations, and history of the Arab American community, Dr. Zogby frequently participates in television and radio programmes.
Beyond his involvement with the Arab American community, Dr. Zogby serves on the national advisory board of the American Civil Liberties Union, and the Human Rights Watch Board of Directors for the Middle East and North Africa. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and Senior Advisor for the polling firm Zogby International, responsible for the firm’s groundbreaking polling across the Middle East.
Established in 2005 in cooperation with the Harvard Kennedy School, the Dubai School of Government is committed to the creation of knowledge, and dissemination of global best practices in the Arab world. The school conducts various programmes that seek to enhance the region’s capacity for effective public policies.
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