Details of Dr. Rasheed’s speech on the Status of Economic Reforms in Baghdad and Erbil: Synergies with & Lessons learned from the GCC

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Dr. Turki Faisal Al Rasheed was a featured speaker in a roundtable discussion at the recent conference on “The Status of Economic Reforms in Baghdad and Erbil: Synergies with & Lessons learned from the GCC”. The conference took place on 29 April 2021, and was organized by the Iraq Policy Group and the University of Oxford’s Oxford Gulf and Arabian Peninsula Studies Forum (OxGAPS).

The high-level, invitation-only roundtable examined Baghdad and Erbil’s progress on reforms and economic diversification efforts. It was attended by dignitaries, ambassadors, business people, and academics, and drew on the insights and expertise of the participants.

Additionally, the roundtable discussed lessons from GCC economic diversification policies and reforms to make clear pathways for viable economic transitions in Baghdad and Erbil.

On one of the conference themes, “Synergies with and lessons learnt from the GCC”, Dr. Al Rasheed spoke about issues drawn from his book, Agricultural Development Strategies: The Saudi Experience.  

Part of Dr. Al Rasheed’s speech focused on the experience of Saudi Arabia and the other Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries, which are the only six countries that have adhered to their long-term visions for national development: Bahrain Economic Vision 2030, Kuwait Vision 2035, Oman Vision 2040, Qatar National Vision 2030, Saudi Vision 2030, Abu Dhabi Economic Vision 2030.

 

Iraq and other countries’ form of governance and pursuit of national development could learn from and adopt the long-term visions embarked upon by Saudi Arabia and the other GCC countries.

 

One of the daunting challenges during this difficult time is food security for Saudi Arabia and the GCC in general, which requires a government’s agility and efficiency to provide and secure enough food for its citizens. Saudi Arabia’s experience of food self-sufficiency and agricultural strategy dates back to the early 1980s.

 

The Saudi leadership adopted a national agricultural strategy to achieve food security in the 80s, and Dr. Rasheed was part of this. Government support with stakeholder involvement was used to achieve successful strategies by creating public companies.

 

National food security strategy success requires human infrastructure and physical infrastructure. Human infrastructure is investing in and providing services to the country’s nationals and residents (health, education, nutrition, food, employment). Physical infrastructure requires investment in transport, energy, water, and housing.  

 

National food security strategy success requires human infrastructure and physical infrastructure. Human infrastructure is investing in and providing services to the country’s nationals and residents (health, education, nutrition, food, employment). Physical infrastructure requires investment in transport, energy, water, and housing.  

 

Saudi Arabia’s food security strategy succeeded on multiple fronts within the triple bottom line of sustainability: Profit, People, and Planet. 

 

Self-sufficiency in wheat and other crops has been achieved. Currently, Saudi Arabia has achieved self-sufficiency in other food products such as dairy (122%), table eggs (115%), dates and fruits (115%), and vegetables (70%).

 

Food security self-sufficiency has proved to be useful during the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown and the disruption of the global supply chain.  

 

A successful national agricultural strategy will improve rural development and urban farming, and achieve UN SDGs 1. (Hunger) and 2. (Poverty). 

 

Urban farming – such as vertical farming, horticulture, aqua farming, and hydroponics that utilize technology and water management – is one of the solutions to achieve the 17 SDGs.  

 

Agricultural development can be sustainable by policy implementation, continuous evaluation, and monitoring with effective, comprehensive feedback. 

 

The Saudi government has done an excellent job in communicating the long-term vision for the country, Vision 2030. It is well understood inside the country that there is a government long-term vision. This is a notable achievement 

 

The challenge now for Iraq is to how to develop and learn to adopt a long-term strategy to achieve the UN 17 SDGs.

 

For more details:

 

Consult Dr. Rasheed’s books, which are available at all major book outlets:

 

Agricultural Development Strategies: The Saudi Experience, published by Lambert Academic Publishing Company (2012) (English)

Agricultural Development Strategies: The Saudi Experience, published by the Center for Arab Unity Studies (2012) (Arabic)

 

Sustainable Development Strategies in the Arab States of the Gulf, published by Gerlach Press (2015)

https://vimeo.com/546004130

https://youtu.be/KbOFXfiaiR8

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