Mohammed has said it

AS THE World Economic Forum watched the unveiling of the vision for global growth and a new economic order by His Highness Shaikh Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, it merited attention largely for the fact that this vision was anchored in a highly-successful endeavour: the fast-paced transformation of the UAE into a modern, prosperous entity nation.

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Published: Sun 9 Sep 2007, 8:34 AM

Last updated: Sun 5 Apr 2015, 1:04 AM

According to this vision, knowledge is the key to growth. Building a knowledge-based economy is no easy task; yet, “education and learning play a pivotal role in the progress and prosperity of any nation”.

It is a matter of great pride, as Shaikh Mohammed noted, that the UAE has not only taken fast strides in the field of learning in recent years, but also overcome the issue of gender divide, with over 90 per cent of its female students going for higher learning in universities.

Poverty and illiteracy are a bane in themselves, but, worse, they, as is pointed out, are “perfect breeding grounds for the seeds of extremism”. Thus, the link between learning, economic well-being and ways to overcome the problem of extremism is made all too clear.

As the UAE leader told the Arab business leaders on the sidelines of the WEF summit, it is time to break the economic and cultural barriers which hinder rapprochement among cultures and peoples of the world. For, integration, not alienation, is the key to success in the economic field, especially as the world is becoming more and more inter-dependent. There is the spectacle of the “interlocking” of the world economies; and more so in the case of those who are set on the development-mode.

UAE, on its part, is showing to the world not only of how to have good governance but also to have good management systems, spanning both the private and public sectors. Those who are lagging behind in progress, including those in the Arab world, may take note and change their ways.

As Shaikh Mohammed noted, making promises alone will not do for the dawn of a new world order and facilitating better living conditions for the humanity. How many of the promises, resolves made at international fora have been fulfilled?

And, that perhaps includes the setting of the Millennium Development Goals by the UN at the turn of this century, well past the end of the Cold War and amid, as His Highness noted, the short-lived atmosphere of global cordiality ushered therein.

Without doubt, the future lies also in the hands of the new generation. In this context, His Highness' resolve to shape young leaders with a clear vision for both the public and private sectors in the Arab world, to carry on full steam ahead with the process of progress, is reassurance that his vision is 'future perfect' as well.

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