SWFs as endowments

Different sovereign wealth funds (SWFs) have different mandates. The largest are presumed to have a mandate similar to that of an endowment. The idea is that the state owns a large but fixed amount of a valuable commodity, usually oil, and that this oil is the property of not just the living citizens but also of all future citizens. Therefore,

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Venture capital as a substitute for oil in driving economic growth

Venture capital is critical to the future success of not only the UAE but also the GCC. To understand this we first need to understand the historic formula for our success – oil leads to financial capital, which leads to real estate development, which creates social and business communities that attract people. Repeat. Even if oil prices had not collapsed,

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Venture Capital Lessons from India, Lebanon and Ireland

In a recent article I pointed out the failure points in the UAE’s venture capital ecosystem, in particular the lack of support for entrepreneurs and start-ups. In this article I’d like to review some of the initiatives other countries have launched that could be useful in upgrading our ecosystem. Given the recent visit to India of Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed, Crown Prince

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GREs versus the Private Sector in the UAE

Every once in a while I decide to torture myself and rummage through the IMF’s databases looking for interesting research and analysis. When I found a Selected Issues UAE Country Report by the IMF, I thought I’d try my luck. The report, published this month, begins by looking at government-related entities (GREs), which is anything that the government owns shares

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UAE VAT Positive for the Economy

The announcement of the planned introduction of a federal value-added tax (VAT) and a corporate tax in the UAE has stimulated a lot of discussion on what this means for the country and its residents. I have a slightly different view to the current mainstream opinions, and would like to share it. The overall premise of the conventional wisdom is that

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