'Menasa economies weathered crisis better'

The percentage of the total world population living in the Middle East, North Africa and South Asia. There are about 800m young and adult consumers. (EB FILE)

Middle East, North Africa and South Asia (Menasa) has weathered the economic storm better than other regions, said Arif Naqvi, Founder and Group Chief Executive of Abraaj Capital, one of the largest private equity company in the region.

"Either you talk of India or Middle East, we have generally speaking weathered the storm better than else where. When the risk came, it came from the West. It came from the very financial institutions that have theoretically managed to mitigate it and minimised it. The whole definition of risk paradigm needs to be changed," said Naqvi, while explaining how private equity is adapting to the new world order.

Naqvi believes that Menasa is going to benefit with economic power shifting from the West to East. "Menasa region has 30 per cent of the world population, half of them under the age of 25. That's 800 million young people and adults entering the world of consumerism, entering the world, where they are hungry for products that they didn't have against the backdrop, which has got relative economic prospectively," said Naqvi.

Talking specifically about GCC, Naqvi said: "If we take example of the GCC, just the availability of oil reserves, we sit on 60 per cent of world oil reserves and produce 30 per cent of world annual production. Then our share of global production and consequent price rises that may happen is only going to get larger and larger. What we have is governments willing to spend and we have people dying to get into consumer economy. At the same time, we have scenario where lots of expenditure is being made in infrastructure and hard assets," said Naqvi.

Talking about global economic recovery, Naqvi said, that there are talks of cautious recovery, green shoots. People are saying that the worst is over. Considering that the global catastrophe that we went through in 2008 and 2009, it is going to take some time. We are not gong to recover so soon."


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