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Saad al-Barrak, the former chief executive of Kuwait's Zain has said Gulf telecoms operators must further privatise and consolidate to survive in an increasingly tough environment, Reuters has reported. "Countries in the region are small and the industry is becoming global, so consolidation is extremely important, especially the smaller companies - I don't see how they will survive in the short-term," Barrak told reporters on the sidelines of a conference in Dubai. "In this part of the world, major companies – 90% of them are government owned and it's politics, not economics that decide (their) next move. The first thing we should do is really privatise regional operators."