Youth unemployment and job creation will be some of the biggest issues facing the Middle East in 2014, according to the executive director and CEO of Standard Chartered, EMEA and the Americas.
V.Shankar also questioned what the political fallout would be from a satisfactory resolution to the on-going discussions with Iran.
“What will Middle Eastern governments do to tackle job creation and youth unemployment [in 2014]?” Shankar said.
“This is a particular challenge for the region because, with few exceptions, people are largely dependent on the government sector for employment.
“Will we have a satisfactory resolution to the Iran imbroglio? If this happens what will be the implications for the geo-political landscape and power equations in the Middle East?”
Shankar, who was speaking exclusively to Gulf Business in his 2014 power letter, also pondered how the region would be tasked with changes resulting from the U.S.’s emergence as a shale gas producer.
“How will shale gas and nano-technology shape the re-emergence of the United States as a manufacturing powerhouse, and what will be the political ramifications of that for the Middle East?” he said.
“Will cheap energy lead to a pronounced pivot away from Middle East in US foreign policy?”
The Gulf Business January edition including the 2014 Power Letters is now available.