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IMF director lauds Sheikh Mohammed efforts to thrust happiness at centre of global debate

12 February 2017


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International Monetary Fund (IMF) director, Christine Lagarde, praised His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai’s effort to thrust the wellbeing and happiness of people at the centre of the global debate.

International Monetary Fund (IMF) director, Christine Lagarde, praised His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai’s effort to thrust the wellbeing and happiness of people at the centre of the global debate.

 

Speaking on Day One of the World Government Summit (WGS) 2017 in Dubai, Lagarde lauded the Dubai Ruler’s leadership, which has inspired candid debate about some of the most pressing issues facing humanity.

 

“It’s a tribute to the innovative spirit of Dubai and the inspiration that is generated by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid,” Lagarde said about the ongoing discussions underway at WGS 2017. “The fact that there is willingness to openly discuss even the most difficult issues, and the fact that the well-being and happiness of people is right at the centre of this debate is very good.”

 

With the happiness concept now very much a part of the future of government, several advanced economies continue to espouse globalisation, despite voter rebellion with Brexit and populace movements sweeping across Europe and the United States.

 

“It is hard to focus on the other side of the equation and to get down in the trenches and figure out how people negatively affected by globalisation are going to be helped,” Lagarde said. “World leaders failed to see the devastating effects of globalisation because they were insidious and grew gradually over time, now amplified as a result of technological advancements.”

 

Speaking on the waves of unemployment caused by globalisation, Lagarde said some of the job losses are attributable to international trade, but a lot has to do with what she called robotization and the substitution of manpower for machines.

 

“I think a more important factor that has led to the frustration of many voters has been this issue of middle-class mobility,” she said. “The thought that the next generation after yours is not going to be making as much money, and not going to be as well off or even unhappier than you were, is a factor partly caused by excessive inequality in many societies.”