Covid-19 years can offer lessons in the importance of innovation

2022 could be the year when we turn what was a decade of challenges into a decade of opportunities. By planning our short-term and long-term goals, we have a chance to restore a commitment to the well-being of our communities while accelerating economic recovery. To do this, we must remember what we have just experienced when the years of the pandemic give the necessary lesson about the importance of innovation.

According to IMF forecasts, GDP growth in the GCC countries is expected to grow by 4.2% in 2022. This is promising news after a difficult era for the region, given falling fuel prices and the undeniable impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Our region has responded well to these crises. Our governments are working tirelessly to vaccinate and protect their citizens and residents to ensure the safety and working capacity of society. And cooperation between the private and public sectors has led to important areas such as healthcare and logistics advancing.

While we have been able to successfully reboot in many ways, we must take into account the lessons of what we have caught by surprise the failures we have experienced over the past 24 months, and be prepared to reduce risks to our lifestyles to continue to protect our communities .

For example, when we headed for recovery after a pandemic, new coronavirus variants caused further jumps in cases. We should view this scheme as a reminder to maintain precautions while we work on future steps.

While the frustration with the long-lasting changes resulting from the pandemic is well-founded, we cannot ignore the danger of being overconfident and ignoring the important precautions we must continue to take at this critical stage of our efforts. on socio-economic recovery.

We are all in this together. Everyone is responsible. And accountable. Governments, businesses and individuals need to contribute to the implementation of up-to-date recommendations received from health authorities to reduce further infection, especially given how quickly new variants of the virus can spread.

The Gulf region is at a critical juncture. To ensure the best mental and physical health of our communities in the long run, our decisions must be prudent and must find ways to enable businesses and the organizations that support them to operate unhindered.

The Gulf region is at a critical juncture

Over the past two years, we have seen individuals and organizations creatively adapt to changing circumstances. From increasing the use of technology in communications and supply chains to developing solutions such as extensive button use and assemble in retail.

We must continue to carry this innovative approach into the future if we want to create a truly reliable, sustainable and mobile economic model of production and consumption.

Organizations should encourage their employees to actively engage in brainstorming ideas that can help adapt best international practices in their workplaces and processes to ensure effectiveness around the world.

An informal approach can help. But these ideas can be streamlined into programs that allow management to support their practical implementation. This will help boost employee morale after a long period of uncertainty and help increase productivity.

There is also an opportunity for industry leaders and partners to connect and collaborate on ways to address the major challenges they face as we see an acceleration of recovery efforts. One example is the wider spread of the technologies of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, which can help increase the efficiency of industries. So how do companies, organizations and governments do it? This is a question that requires a collective and joint answer. And – perhaps most importantly – the opportunity to create more inclusive working conditions.

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To secure these plans, funding must be readily available. And here is an opportunity for financial institutions in the GCC to offer lending programs specifically designed to invest in change and technologies that support a smooth transition to the next stage of development. There is much room for innovation and expanding our influence beyond our current circumstances. We can develop frameworks, products and services that bring long-term value to the economy.

In recent decades, the GCC has developed rapidly. It has diversified its economic mix while raising the level of education among citizens and empowering men and women, boys and girls, through a variety of initiatives, programs and support mechanisms.

The endless potential of our human capital, our natural resources and our youth growth give the region the potential to drive and effect transformational change in the critical years ahead as we approach the UN Sustainable Development Agenda.

The world is now at a crucial crossroads, and we must follow the prize and do whatever it takes to preserve our health, as well as our economic interests, which we now know as never before, are closely linked.

While economic growth forecasts in the region give hope, we cannot be passive and overconfident. On the contrary, we must use our resources and collective determination to create a more secure future for ourselves, our citizens, our communities and our region.

Published: February 15, 2022, 9:00 p.m.

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