Readers discuss Walmart, sectarianism and the UAE
Widespread praise for sweeping visa changes
I write in reference to your story Sheikh Mohammed announces sweeping changes to UAE’s visa system (May 20): all hail the rulers of the UAE. The recent dramatic development announced by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, UAE Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai about the new concept of 10-year visas for skilled professionals and some students will create a new chapter in the history of the country and on the global stage. This will boost the UAE’s trade and cement international relationships with different countries. Already the UAE is preparing to host Expo 2020 Dubai and this new move will add one more feather in its cap. No one expected this development. Kudos to the UAE.
K Ragavan, Denver
We welcome the decision of the UAE’s leadership in this holy month of Ramadan.
Fathima Ruksana, Abu Dhabi
Sectarianism is the main villain in fragmented Iraq
In reference to your online article Moqtada Al Sadr says next Iraq government will be ‘inclusive’ (May 21): nothing inclusive ever comes out of sectarian politics. It always leads only to trouble and bloodshed.
Name withheld by request
Study local dynamics before making huge investments
Great excitement has been sparked in India recently by the $16 billion Walmart stake in local e-commerce company Flipkart. But Walmart may have to wait for a long time before it turns a profit in India, where e-commerce markets will not, in my view, grow rapidly. Indian consumers may buy from e-commerce platforms when there are bargains to be had, but many will then revert back to local shops.
Around 125 million Indians still live below the poverty line of $2 per day. The middle classes are floundering thanks to inflation, lower disposable incomes and higher taxation. And the rich of India are known for shopping abroad.
The Indian e-commerce shopper can look forward to a time when the world’s top companies will compete for his or her wallet.
It is reassuring that large companies like Wallmart have faith in the Indian market, but before putting $16 billion on the table, it is crucial to rigorously study local dynamics and underlying trends.
Rajendra Aneja, Dubai