'The situation in Middle East and South Asia is alarming' - Malik Ayub Sumbal on pandemic challenges | Eurasia Diary - ednews.net

27 July, Tuesday

'The situation in Middle East and South Asia is alarming' - Malik Ayub Sumbal on pandemic challenges

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The situation in the Middle East and South Asia is alarming because of the pandemic, especially in the South Asia region, Pakistani political analyst Malik Ayub Sumbal told in his interview with Dr. Chester Cabalza.

The analyst thinks that the dense population in South Asia is a big challenge in order to tackle the coronavirus. He also adds a lack of resources and low quality in management as the main obstacle in coronavirus struggle in the region.

“The situation is similar in the Middle East region that the majority of the countries suffer from the deadliest wars demolished the infrastructure,” Sumbal says.

He considers that all of this conflict and its consequences is a disaster for the region and it makes virus uncontrollable.

“Public health system is not upgraded in these countries. It is also related to the economy. The countries cannot keep the situation as we see how Pakistan and India opened lockdown while it is very alarming to go out in the current term.”

He evaluates the overall image of the economy as not good. He thinks that the interrelations between South Asia and the Middle East could affect the spread of coronavirus and its damage will be interrelated.

“Many people from South Asia work in the Middle Eastern countries, especially the Gulf States. Additionally, the Middle East has a strong influence on the mediation in South Asian conflicts.”

Sumbal noted that huge economic dependence on remittance from the Gulf States to Nepal, Bangladesh, and other South Asian states.

He also emphasized that pandemic will make serious setbacks in the tourism sector which is one of the main resources in the economics of the region. 

“For example, Saudi Arabia earns from tourism more after oil. If the Hajj pilgrim will be canceled it could be a big loss for the economy of Saudi Arabia. It also directly affects the hotel system of the country.”

The political analyst also includes other countries like the United Arab Emirates that, Dubai is one of the main touristic destinations.

“Saudi Arabia had no huge taxes on people and entrepreneurs but now they imposed value-added taxes and other ones, Saudi Crown Prince cut some major projects.”

While evaluating the diversification of the region's economy, Sumbal views the countries as very small countries in terms of population and agricultural lands. He thinks that countries in the Gulf region mainly earn from hosting international events, exhibitions but now all of them have been canceled.

“The future of the region is not so predictable and it is very alarming. The countries in the Middle East have experienced recent economic boom they have no long economic history. If the countries will not have alternative resources for revenues, it will reverse the direction of economic growth.”

While touching upon the economic situation in South Asia, Malik Ayub Sumbal noted that these countries have different problems from the Middle East region.

The South Asian countries’ economy is not oil-driven like in the Middle East. They have a huge agricultural sector. Nevertheless, the pandemic also affects them. Pakistan earns a huge amount of money from mango trade. Currently, the export of mango is sustained.”

He also added that South Asian countries suffer from the lack of public health facilities which has a direct impact on combat against coronavirus.

Written by Ulvi Ahmedli


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