215 last printed 942009 70000 pm oil ddw 2012 1 saudi

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Unformatted text preview: bargain between the region’s rulers and ruled. Two-thirds of Middle Easterners are under the age of 30, which represents a historic opportunity for growth in the context of the region’s expanding economies; alternatively, this disproportionately young population could trigger what one expert has described as ‘double jeopardy: the economic and social exclusion of youth drains growth and creates social strife’.37 To successfully marshal these human resources, states will have to embrace forward-leaning policies and programmes to create 80m new, productive jobs by 2020, nearly all in the private sector, as well as implement the sort of comprehensive educational expansion and reforms necessary to produce a trained and competitive work force. Today, youth unemployment and underemployment is rampant. Within the Gulf states alone, the challenge is to create 280,000 jobs per year to absorb new entrants to the labour markets – or 4m new jobs by 2020 in a regional economy that currently employs only 4.8m local citizens.38 The boom has generated new private-sector growth, but capacity remains far below what is required to meet the skyrocketing needs of most societies. And despite episodic political crises, and the countervailing economic shocks of the oil-price decline in the late 1990s and the current boom, the region’s overall reliance on a primarily low-skilled, low-cost expatriate labour has remained steady over the past decade at approximately 40%. Ambitious nationalisation programmes, including changes in the sponsorship system of some Gulf countries and a recent Saudi publicity campaign riffing on the labour minister’s brief stint at a fast-food restaurant, have had only a limited impact. As a result, impressive job-creation targets remain largely aspirational, and the prerequisite structural changes – in particular, the massive expansion and empowerment of the private sector – are still in their infancy. If these employment targets are not achieved, the spectre of a youth bulge characterised by idleness and frustration looms on the horizon for the Gulf. Compounding the political issues at stake for the region are real economic pressures that could exacerbate the task of maintaining stability at home. 215 Last printed 9/4/2009 7:00:00 PM Oil DDW 2012 1 ***Saudi Aff*** 216 Oil DDW 2012 1 Saudi Reforms Turn 217 Last printed 9/4/2009 7:00:00 PM Oil DDW 2012 1 Oil revenues discourage diversification and don’t benefit growth Elhefnawy, previously published on international and security issues in journals including Astropolitics, International Security and Parameters, Visiting Assistant Professor of Literature at the University of Miami, 08 Nader Elhefnawy, previously published on international and security issues in journals including Astropolitics, International Security and Parameters, Visiting Assistant Professor of Literature at the University of Miami, 3-25-08, [“The Impending Oil Shock,” Survival: Global Politics and Strategy, 50:2, 37-66, www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/00396330802034242] E. Liu However, this influence should not be exaggerated. A rapidly rising population and increasing production difficulties mean there will be no re...
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