Sunday, November 29, 2009

World Economic Forum Met in Dubai Before DW Debt Payment Postponement

The World Economic Forum met in Dubai November 20-22 to brainstorm and prioritize solutions to global problems. The closing session is available online (for how much longer, I don't know). Most ideas orbited around globalization. I'll share a few that stuck out in my mind.

Values-the group encouraged a common language for going forward, the language of business

Role of Private Sector
-sovereign funds (like Dubai World) were touted as solutions to global infrastructure needs, however such funds won't invest long term in underdeveloped nations due to political risk. A new structure is needed to mitigate such political risks, such that sovereigns will invest. (They didn't say what that was, insurance, economic unions, governmental unions)

-the need for a global structure to handle the movement of people.

Global Health Risk Institute
-such a group would go well beyond traditional medicine in identifying health risks for populations.

Mitigating Policy Risk
-it called for the next generation of public policy machinery for leaders (code talk for what?)
Some of these ideas need revisiting in light of Dubai World's difficulties. Summit Co-Chair Mohamed Alabbar, Chairman of Emaar Properties, United Arab Emirates, made several comments at the meeting's close. He said:

The meeting was ending with hope and optimism.

The people in this room know how to deal with prosperity and challenges. We are leaders in vision and execution.

Three days later Dubai World called for a halt on its debt payments. It remains to be seen how much water this throws on the WEF's global agenda.

Update: Dubai World may offer creditors 60 cents on the dollar in a debt restructuring.