'Globalisation should not take over culture'

DUBAI - Globalisation must not be allowed to lessen cultural identity in Arabia, according to Saudi industrialist Abdulla Al Zamil, chief operating officer of Zamil Industrial Investment Company.

By A Staff Reporter

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Published: Mon 5 Sep 2005, 10:52 AM

Last updated: Thu 2 Apr 2015, 9:10 PM

Al Zamil, who is one of the regional leaders associated with the international leadership summit, Leaders in Dubai, said: “Leaders need to keep pace with the changing world. We are in an era of alliances and merging boundaries and borders. “However, we must take care to prevent a loss of cultural identity. In many countries, the traditional way of life is getting lost and the public feel that their way of life has to be protected against foreign influence.”

Globalisation was the subject of a Pew Global Attitudes Project, which is chaired by Dr Madeleine Albright – one of the nine speakers at Leaders in Dubai, and former Secretary of State of the United States. The project’s advisory board members include Hernando de Soto, Henry Kissinger, Queen Noor of Jordan and Desmond Tutu. According to the survey, globalisation, the free market model and democratic ideals are accepted in all corners of the world. Most notably, the report found strong democratic aspirations in most of the Muslim countries surveyed. These aspirations remain intact despite the conflict in Iraq. Majorities in 41 of the 44 countries surveyed say that international trade and business contacts have increased in the past five years. More than 75 per cent of those interviewed in almost every country think children need to learn English to succeed in the world today.

People generally view the growth in foreign trade, global communication and international popular culture as good for them and their families as well as their countries.

Despite the widespread support for the globalisation process, people around the world think many aspects of their lives are getting worse. Majorities in 34 of 44 countries see the gap between rich and poor, the affordability of health care and the ability to save for their old age as getting worse.

Al Zamil’s comments came in the lead-up to Leaders in Dubai on November 28 - 29, where he has been appointed one of the Corporate Ambassador alumni. Dr Albright is part of the highest profile line-up at a Middle East conference. Nine political, business and strategy leaders will debate international leadership principles in front of more than 2,000 delegates. Leaders in Dubai is expected to attract more than 2,000 business leaders from across Arabia and will be held at Madinat Jumeirah, Dubai, from November 28 to 29, 2005.

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