The Middle East Economy - Circa 2030
The Middle East is deemed as the global market for crude oil. Amidst all the armed conflicts, terrorism and current oil crisis that plagues the region, the nagging question is what future awaits this region by 2030 and beyond?
Right now, the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries or OPEC has remained firm to pump more than 31 million barrels of oil daily. Iran is locked in negotiations with Western powers regarding the Iranian Nuclear Program. Syria is on the verge of collapse due to the intense fighting. Yemen and Iraq remain separated. Libya has been ruined while Egypt as well as other Gulf nations is confronted with massive geopolitical and economic challenges.
International data says the Middle East has to cope with increasing population, escalating unemployment figures and decreasing value of education and health. However, the bold forecast is Middle Eastern nations will experience a sudden increase. Although three of the most vibrant economies (Iraq, Iran and Israel) have been devastated by hostilities, these countries are flourishing and remain potent. Besides, Israel is known for its military might while Iran and Iraq are oil-rich countries.
What will happen to the economy of the Middle East by 2030?
First of all, the population will have grown more than twofold compared to progressive economies such as Japan and Europe which experience diminishing populace. On the whole, studies disclosed inhabitants of the Middle East will expand by 33 percent to 319 million in 2030 which is an increase from 241 million in 2010. Quite the reverse, the Euro Zone will see its total population grow by only 0.4 percent (or 3 million) during the same period.
What are the prospects? So far, Gross National Income or GNI has climbed up at an average of four percent during the last five years. As a result of the expected plunge of crude prices from 2015 until 2030, it is not possible to depend on current figures to estimate upcoming economic trends. Right now, the possible key regional driver could be the Islamic factor along with potential economic growth rates for 2005 until 2015 (four percent); 2016 until 2020 (two percent); and, 2020 until 2030 (zero percent).
According to research, Gross National Income for the Middle East will be $1,482 billion and Capita Income will reach $2,580 billion in 2030 without Israel. The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is expected to emerge as one of the major economic powers in the region. Projections revealed that KSA will increase (230 percent) to US$1582 billion 15 years from now, according to the annual report of Price Water House Coopers. However, growth prospects will be limited because of overseas investments.
Meanwhile, both the Middle East and North Africa or MENA for short presents a very diverse depiction of economic configuration and qualities. Economic evolution particularly in the Middle East region has been very volatile especially now because of the crude oil glut and price drop. What will be the outlook for 2030 and beyond?
Economic analysts have different projections. Hence, nothing is definite except that CRUDE OIL will be among the determining factors.