Workshop 4 / GRM 2024
Industrial Policies in the Gulf and the Middle East


As they consider the inevitable transition of a post-oil world, the coming waves of disruptive technologies, and the prospect of losing out in an increasingly competitive environment, the Gulf countries have adopted blueprints for economic transformation more ambitious than anything attempted in the past. The “vision” statements of the GCC countries, in particular, envisage the development of industries that would propel them closer to the frontier of technological innovation.  It is not evident, however, that these amount to coherent and viable industrial strategies. The plans have not adequately addressed the market failures that any meaningful industrial policy needs to overcome. Nor have they established the robust institutional mechanisms and procedures necessary for realization of their industrial aspirations.Arriving at a better understanding of the industrial policies of the Gulf countries is the primary objective of this workshop. While studies of industry in these countries abound, many aspects of their industrial policies/strategies have received little scholarly attention. There are few in-depth studies of even such basic questions as the process in which those policies were formulated and adopted. The workshop will undertake an intensive examination of central issues in industrial policy – the rationales behind the choices that have been made, their prerequisites, their limitations, their potentials, and the prospects for alternative pathways for industry in the region. In examining this under-researched area, we aim to make a substantial contribution to Gulf political economy studies.

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Dr. Don


Lecturer and Research Associate at the Center for Middle Eastern Studies -
Harvard University

Dr. John


Senior Scholar, Pembroke College, University of Cambridge -
Chief Economist, Gulf Research Center

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