UAE, Saudi Arabia optimistic world trading system can be restored, says survey

LONDON: More than three-quarters of respondents in the UAE and Saudi
Arabia said that the troubled global trading system can be restored to
“working order,” according to a survey.

Only 27 percent thought the system would be restored ‘soon’, while 49
percent said it would be a more ‘long-term’ recovery, the Bloomberg
research published on Oct. 22 found.

More than half of those surveyed in the two Gulf countries were
optimistic that trade will grow in the next five years, with only 26
percent saying there would be less trade over that time period.

The survey findings come just days after the director-general of the
World Trade Organization, Roberto Azevedo, urged action to be taken to
avoid “serious harm” to the global trading system, in a speech in London
on Oct. 17.

A continuing trade dispute between China and the US has led to the two
countries imposing a series of tariffs on various imports.

The survey found that 65 percent of Saudi and UAE respondents said they
were learning about new technologies to prepare for the future economy,
while a similar proportion were learning new skills and taking
professional courses.

Global governance issues were viewed as the most critical issue challenging the future of trade, according to the respondents.

The global survey also found there was a divide in opinion between
business leaders in the emerging markets and those in developed

Almost two-thirds (63 percent) of emerging market business professionals
said they believe there would be more trade in five years, compared to
just 36 percent in developed markets that felt the same way.

“The survey reveals vast differences in perceptions for the future and
highlights the need to bring together global leaders in business and
government to find private-sector led solutions to some of the world’s
biggest challenges,” said Justin B. Smith, chief executive officer,
Bloomberg Media Group.

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