x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 17 January 2018

Capital to host economic panel

US economist and Nobel laureate Paul Krugman will lead the discussion on how the Emirates should respond to the recession.

Abu Dhabi // International experts in economics and political economy will lead a conference here on May 25 on how the UAE should respond to the global recession. "The global financial crisis is not a made-in-the-UAE problem, but we still have to exist in a global context," said James Graham, managing director of Aim, the event's organiser. "The idea is to take the global macroeconomic perspective and apply that to local issues."

The American economist and Nobel laureate Paul Krugman will lead the discussion on how the Emirates should best respond to the recession. The event will focus on reviving the UAE property market, the future of investment and business in GCC countries, and making economic forecasts for the region. Mr Graham said that at the end of the one-day conference, at the Emirates Palace hotel, conclusions would be compiled in a report to be distributed among government, business and industry heads.

The UAE's economy had been relatively sheltered from the storm for several reasons, Mr Graham said, notably its high GDP per capita and efforts to diversify the economy. "Steps taken in the past four years to grow and change the economy have been incredible," he said. "Five years ago there was no ADNEC [Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre], for example." He said the growing number of hotels in Abu Dhabi had led to an increase in business tourism because the capital was in a better position to host international business conferences.

"Business tourists spend lots of money. Golf courses, Etihad - these things have brought really high-end tourism here." Mr Graham said the conference, called Megatrends, would examine the country as a whole, rather than as seven separate emirates. jhume@thenational.ae