Monday, December 15, 2014

Fourth Session of Arab Strategy Forum 2014 Explores Future Political and Economic Prospects

Bruce Bueno de Mesquita, Professor of Politics and Director of the Alexander Hamilton Center for Political Economy at New York University and senior fellow at the Hoover Institution of Stanford University, confirmed during the Arab Strategy Forum (ASF 2014) that the world is overseeing major changes resulting from dynamic political shifts.

De Mesquita said that although Europe is currently suffering from economic crisis, it will witness signs of recovery next year, adding that European governments should work along with the United States. He noted that Russia is a major player in Europe but is often isolated and seen as a threat to the stability of that region despite the importance of Russia as energy supplier for Europe. He also predicted that Spain will achieve political and economic stability and emerge as an ideal investment destination. On the other hand in the EU region, Hungary might be the weakest link in Europe and could be the first country to leave EU.  

Speaking about Asia, De Mesquita forecasted: 'There several negative predictions about the situation in China that are true. China is experiencing a significant political and economic change right now; the problem is that the Chinese coastal regions are economically thriving, but do not support the central government. These are signs of a waning Chinese central government authority that will witness a period of tension and political pressure stretching through the next decade.'

De Mesquita said that oil will be in focus right through the coming year, the weakening economies of Europe and China will lead to a further decline in the price of oil especially if the US increases its exports of oil and gas, a policy that the Obama administration is likely to follow. He also predicted that North and South America will become the world's leading producers of oil and gas. This will further destabilize the Middle East.

Elaborating further on the Middle East, de Mesquita pointed out that a number of governments are working to confront the terrorist group ISIS. "The confrontation will see the growing roles of Iran and Iraq and lead to a significant increase in the number of US troops in the region. This will lead to a Machiavellian alliance between the US, Iraq and Iran that might escalate another sectarian conflict in Iraq. This process will resolve one crisis, but create another," he noted.

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