KUWAIT: Sharing strong sentiments on the region at the 8th GCC Banking Conference, James Wolfensohn, Former World Bank President said, "I think the challenge is to take advantage of not the oil resources but of your people, don''t look through the haze of wealth; that is the subject I want to bring to your notice, and this is something I feel personally,"
Wolfensohn had interesting things to say at the conference. He pointed out that the biggest challenge facing the Middle East is developing its human resources and alluded to the negative effects of wealth in spoiling the youth and slowing development.
The former World Bank President found it strange how the region takes pride in projects in the trillions of dollars, while in Kuwait 90% of the workforce is employed by the government and incorporating a private company takes more than 450 days due to government bureaucracy, which is more than 10 times the average time it takes in developed countries. [Al-Qabas] He emphasized the need to liberalize the economy and improve education. I hope the audience was listening!