MANAMA: The region could generate 12.4 million jobs by 2030 because of new opportunities and growing economies, according to a new report.
These opportunities are the focus of Better Business, Better World Middle East and North Africa region, a new report from the London-based Business and Sustainable Development Commission.
“As countries in the Middle East and North Africa rise up to open new opportunities for women, welcome refugees and diversify their economies, there remains a long road for the region as a whole to become inclusive and sustainable,” said Commission chair Mark Malloch-Brown.
“Better Business, Better World MENA shows there is a compelling economic incentive for business and government to accelerate, embracing sustainable solutions and rolling out innovative strategies to ensure that the region exploits fully its potential.”
The research shows companies could open economic opportunities across 60 “hot spots” worth more than $12 trillion and generate up to 380 million jobs globally by 2030.
Better Business, Better World MENA breaks down the estimated $637 billion of economic value for the region across four key systems: energy and materials ($229bn),
cities ($183bn), health and well-being ($133bn) and food and agriculture ($92bn).
“The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) offer a coherent framework to effectively address fundamental societal challenges,” said The Abraaj Group founder and group chief executive Arif Naqvi.
“The goals are relevant to the Middle East and North Africa where we see a young dynamic population, motivated to seize opportunities and make positive contributions to the wider society.
“This is the time for chief executives and investors within the region to step up, take the lead and partner together for inclusive growth.”
The report states that Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Oman, Qatar and the UAE have launched plans to diversify their economies, as oil prices drop and are taking steps to achieve the SDGs by 2030.
According to the Business Commission, 12.4m jobs could be generated through SDG-aligned business models in the region. Developments in urban construction, mobility, and infrastructure will generate nearly 6m jobs.
“One World Bank study shows that the region could generate 2.5m jobs by meeting its estimated annual basic infrastructure needs,” said the report.
“Almost one-fifth of the total employment potential in the region – around 2.2m jobs – comes from just one opportunity: affordable housing.”