Arab Competitiveness Summit: Doha
By SunScience on Apr 11, 2007
The economic analysis of the region emphasized the fundamental role of education, and the emerging level of higher education for students, not only from the region, but world-wide.
The impressive effort by Qatar to build a first-class higher educational system is succeeding, but the long-term view should attempt to match the needs of the region for specific skills to the curriculum. Carnegie Mellon, Georgetown, Texas A&M, and Cornell have made impressive gains building a curriculum, dealing with faculty issues of relocation and collaboration, and equivalency of degrees.
However, there can be further improvements.
In conversations with Akbar Al Baker, CEO of Qatar Airways, it became clear how important the insistence on the highest standards is for the overall formation of the staff. Only by complete adherence to strict rules on on-time departures, to complete even-handedness in customer treatment, and to extremely demanding maintenance and inspection regimes can such a rapidly growing airline maintain its reputation for quality.
The infrastructure investments: airport, port, bridges, roads, telecommunications are moving ahead rapidly; Qatar has the forest of construction cranes associated usually with Dubai.
However, there are some delays in implementation. Qatar is adhering to the highest world standards, and that is causing pressure on contractors and contract management.
A fundamental issue for the regional states is the presence of very large numbers of workers from Kenya, from Sri Lanka, and from India.
Remittances are critically important, and the need for reform is urgent.