Panel: H.E. Sultan Bin Sulayem, Chairman of DP World H.E. PMacky Sall, President of Senegal Moderator: Richard Quest, CNN Richard Quest, anchor and correspondent at CNN, moderated a panel on the value of trade with the President of Senegal, Macky Sall and the Chairman of DP World, Sultan Bin Sulayem. In his responses, President Sall highlights how Senegal has become a remarkable case study of how a developing African country can experience economic reform and prosperity in a relatively short timeframe with the right government policy and social approach. Richard Quest started the discussion by drawing on the rising trend of countries to promote protectionist measures, taxing imports to safeguard a country's domestic industries from foreign competition. The discussion moves to incorporate the importance of globalization to investment and economic growth around the world. As the Chairman of DP World, Sultan Bin Sulayem speaks to the power of free trade and the desire for all countries to want to enjoy the benefits of such fortuitous trade relations. “We need the country leaders to promote transparency and good governance in order to qualify for more business.” –Sultan Bin Sulayem Key Takeaways International economies are interdependent. No economy is an island. Due to the grand interconnectedness of free trade relations in the twenty-first century, every move a country makes will have a lasting ripple effect on the global economy. Countries cannot function autonomously. We live in a globalized society where economies, cultures, and governments are inextricably interlaced. Eliminating all ties to other networks is not only a massive undertaking but also incites crippling implications for the entire international community. The nature of capital today implies constant global shifting. Because of this, rules and regulations are necessary to keep the flow in check without destroying the benefits of free trade. It is in the international community’s best interest to maintain globalization and protect free trade, especially in smaller countries. The global economy benefits from globalization. Globalization represents free trade.  As in the cases of Senegal and Dubai, tree trade promotes global economic growth, creates jobs, makes companies more competitive, and lowers prices for consumers. It is in everyone’s best interest to promote free trade. Advocating for anti-globalization policies is actually meant to promote fair trade. “DP World is a global company,” remarked Sultan Bin Sulayem, Chairman of DP World. So, anti-globalization would not affect the business. Protectionism will inhibit growth and damage economies. Should the United States decide not to remain open, repercussions will be felt around the world. For example, previous trade agreements between Africa and the U.S. will place considerable constraints on Senegal’s economy should American protectionist trade policy take root. Infrastructure is imperative. The Sultan confirmed that in order encourage business, trade, and sustainable development in African countries, partnerships are needed between the public sector (government investment) and private sector to develop foreign investment. The secret to Senegal’s current economic success is a simple strategy. Senegal’s new economic strategy has paid off. It has succeeded in transforming its economy through a three-pillar system:
  • Senegal has transformed the structure of the economy with better infrastructure, agriculture, and energy. The result is a more robust and resilient economy.
  • Inclusive growth. Inclusive growth has generated better employment and increased education in new, innovative fields.
  • Laws and Policy. The state of law in Senegal has also revolutionized the country’s economy. New policy strategy and regulation has led to the eye-catching 26% growth. The President hopes to share the new practices and strategies with other countries.
Preparing for the next chapter in U.S.-African relations. Although Former American president Barack Obama showed exceptional interest in Africa, President Sall seemed hopeful for the Trump administration. Sall emphasized Africa’s great potential with a growing middle class and continued development. He concluded by saying “Africa is an open continent” and that he is optimistic that relations will continue to go smoothly with America. “Africa is an open continent.” –Macky Sall, President of Senegal Editor’s Note: The preceding is an essay from a special print report produced by Diplomatic Courier after the 2017 World Government Summit in Dubai, UAE. To read the full report download our free app on your device or view the digital edition here.  

Bailey Piazza
Bailey Piazza is a Diplomatic Courier contributing editor and correspondent.
The views presented in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily represent the views of any other organization.