Complex Made Simple

Middle East will benefit from Trump: former Pakistan PM

* Trump will be a man of action

* Someone from the private sector has huge advantage over those who know only politics

* We should start “looking at performance over passports”

Donald Trump’s unexpected victory in the US presidential election in November has stirred more fears than hopes in the across the globe and particularly in the Middle East. But an old friend of the region says the Republican will be a man of action and as he takes office on January 20 it will be for a refreshing change for the world.

Shaukat Aziz, former Prime Minister of Pakistan, who has close relations with the businesses in the UAE and other nations in the region, suggests that Middle East countries could benefit from Trump’s presidency.

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More privatisation

Aziz, also a businessman and a former banker, is keen on the need for increased privatisation.

“I believe the appointment of Donald Trump to office will be a refreshing change for the United States and the world. I am optimistic that somebody with his background, and a very innovative and out-of-the-box streak, will help make this world a better place,” he says.

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shaukat Aziz

“I think he will be a man of action. Someone coming from a private sector background has a huge advantage over someone who has been in politics all their life; innovation is at the core of their DNA. In saying that, these are early days and we have to give him time to build his team. As with any administration, they will be instrumental to his success. The world is waiting,” Aziz adds.

Aziz, whose career at City Bank spanned for three decades with a few years in the region, was speaking at a signing ceremony for his new book From Banking to the Thorny World of Politics, at Dubai’s Capital Club on Tuesday.

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Be direct

Asked how Arab leaders should approach Trump’s presidency, Aziz reiterated the need to be upfront and take a clear position on issues. “I think President-elect Donald Trump could be a man who accepts direct comments, critiques and suggestions, taking issues into full consideration as long as they are communicated in an effective manner,” he said.

“Don’t be hostage to the past. Globalisation has given us the ability to attract the best talent irrespective of cast, colour or creed. This is something we should be utilising; we should be looking at performance over passports,” he added.

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