Sheikh Mohamed sets the stage for Globalisation 2.0

He is forging specific deals with different countries keeping the UAE’s interests in mind

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Published: Mon 16 May 2022, 11:15 PM

While the world was in the worst phase of the pandemic, a new era of globalisation dawned upon us with action taking place in the UAE. The health crisis had shaken the world and has taught leaders that reliance on a few countries could hurt supply chains. Simply put, Globalisation 1.0 failed to deliver the goods in the crunch.

International bodies like the World Health Organization (WHO) were caught napping at the start; health infrastructure was creaking; decision-making came to a standstill and people were dying from a virus whose origins are still shrouded in mystery. They still are and the toll stands at 6.26 million deaths and 521 million cases till Monday, lest we forget.

Leaders were uncertain about the early response and a united front against the virus is still elusive, though the health sector, specifically the pharma industry delivered vaccines in record time to contain the spread of the pathogen. We are not out of the woods yet, but the UAE was living in interesting, and exciting times during the crisis.

The country quickly galvanised to track, trace and test the virus and was among the first to roll out vaccines, thanks to its close and independent relationships with countries like China, the US, Russia, and the UK.

It was spoilt for choice for Covid shots, with four varieties making it to the arms of people in the country. Cases were rapidly brought down by the winter of 2020, and the rest, as they say, is history. What’s more, the UAE did the unthinkable by striking a peace deal with Israel that August. Expo 2020 Dubai held the following year was the icing on the cake.

How did it happen? Strategic leadership that looked beyond the constraints of Globalization 1.0. We will call this new era Globalisation 2.0 and the President His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan has emerged as The Globalist.

Globalisation 2.0 has already set in the UAE as the world comes out of the pandemic. What distinguishes leaders like Sheikh Mohamed is their foresight. They see the larger picture, want quick results, are practical and aren’t afraid to strike bilateral deals to secure their country’s interests.

Some may call it a narrow definition of globalisation, or a dilution of the concept, but if it can work in the UAE, why not the rest of the world? Back in 2015, the President saw an economy without oil, when the last barrel of the fuel would be shipped out of the country. Such a scenario wasn’t envisaged by many who believed the resource would last in the world’s sixth-largest producer. We called him a visionary back then. We will do the same now, but we see him in a different light as The Globalist.

Sheikh Mohamed realises that investments should be poured into the science and technology sectors and the environment. The right talent is needed and people need to be skilled or re-skilled for the challenges and opportunities presented by the knowledge and green economy that will emerge from the oil economy by 2050. He is forging specific deals with different countries keeping the UAE’s interests in mind as part of Globalisation 2.0. The first one with India is complete; 26 more are to come. We will go a step further and call it inclusive globalization where every country’s voice and interest matter. Sheikh Mohamed has set the benchmark as The Globalist. It’s only a matter of time before other leaders follow suit.

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