Editor’s Note: Please do not quote more than a few paragraphs from any given source. MyFDL Editor
Bassam Ramadan, country manager for Kuwait at the World Bank, said the average price of various types of crude oil could fall by 10-15 percent from current levels to around $85 per barrel by 2020.
This would put pressure on the oil exporter’s state finances, especially given a series of public sector wage hikes over the past six months, he said.
“This country has put its development plan and its spending pattern basically at a price of $85 per barrel,” he told reporters on the sidelines of a Euromoney conference in Kuwait.
It must be noted this article was written in March and today oil prices are around $85 dollars a barrel already. The 25% increase in public workers wages are a response to increased union pressure after the Arab Spring Airline and Customs officials both walked off the job but have since come back because of the pay increase Go Unions!
Kuwait will not go bankrupt the article says they will just have to tap into their huge reserves of cash in a sense their 1% seems to get it. However political infighting about how to spend money on a $110 billion plan already passed by Kuwait’s Parliament to diversify Kuwait’s economy is stalling the start of economic diversification projects. By diversify I think they mean economic stimulus projects naturally foreign investors don’t seem to want to help fund these plans the diversification projects/ economic stimulus plans called for 50% investment from foreign investors. The business community is whining about red tape from Kuwait’s government over buying properties and enforcing contracts however the oil companies have been doing business in Kuwait for years so I think the business community just does not want to spend on FDR type economic programs.
“Kuwait was bullied into sending Peninsula Shield forces to Bahrain and their entire government fell because of divisions within parliament that were instigated by the disagreement,” said Justin Gengler of Qatar University.
Recognizing that a broader partnership with Saudi Arabia would lead to more of this kind of interference, Kuwait, Oman, the UAE and Qatar have no interest in ceding regional and international influence to the kingdom.
Qatar, in particular, is wary of outsized Saudi influence on its affairs.
“Qatar has an independent foreign policy and an independent economic influence all over the world, particularly in Europe and Asia. They don’t want Saudi Arabia to interfere,” Valeri said.
The United Arab Emirates has similarly clashed with Riyadh over past efforts to mold the GCC in the image of international bodies like the European Union.
“The UAE withdrew from the discussions about common currency two years ago and that’s why,” he said. “They wanted the central bank to be based in the UAE and Saudi Arabia didn’t. There’s an economic competition and a competition for influence.”
The individual countries also have long-held geopolitical relationships with the United States, which diverged sharply from Saudi Arabia in response to the Arab Spring uprisings. Qatar, in particular, might find it more advantageous to rely on the West than its powerful next-door neighbor.
“Qatar may become less assertive and more willing to be dependent on the US following a Saudi-Bahraini union,” said Mark Katz of George Mason University. “Being wealthy but weak is not a long-term recipe for being influential internationally.”
The Saudi’s in response to Arab Spring want an EU style union of the Arab Monarchies however none of the Arab Monarchies want to be dependent on a EU style Union dominated by the Saudis and have to rely on foreign troops to like Bahrain did in order to keep power. It seems their 1% wants to keep their own power and at least in Kuwait would rather spend to help their people rather than spend more on their army both to quash an Arab Spring or fight Iran.
Up Date more information about Oman
Now in it’s sixth year, the GPI is made up of 23 indicators and ranks 158 countries. It gages the level of safety and security in society and also looks at the extent of domestic or international conflict.
The indicators range from a nation’s level of military expenditure to its relations with neighbouring countries and the level of respect for human rights. The index has been tested against a range of potential “drivers” or determinants of peace—including levels of democracy and transparency, education and national wellbeing.
The world has become more peaceful for the first time since 2009 according to the annual Global Peace Index (GPI) released today.
The top 5 fallers are Syria, Egypt, Tunisia, Oman and Malawi. The Middle East is now amongst one of the least peaceful regions in the world, with the drop in rankings for the Arab countries refelecting the turbulence and instability created by the events of the Arab Spring.
Oman is ranked 57 now, Kuwait at 47, Qatar at 13, United Arab Emirates 46 , Bahrain 114, Saudi Arabia 103,
Iran 124 ( not a gulf Monarchy I will be studying but useful as a comparison ) (United States at 86 not a gulf Monarchy I will be studying but useful as a comparison)