Introduced by Ahmed Bin Sulayem, Executive Chairman, DMCC, Guest of Honour and Keynote Speaker, the Former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, David Cameron, opened the the second day of the Dubai Diamond Conference 2017 ('DDC 2017') organised by the Dubai Diamond Exchange (‘DDE’), a DMCC ('Dubai Multi Commodities Centre') platform, with a strong message to the room of international leaders of the diamond industry ranging from African Ministers to traders, financiers and world-renowned jewellers – by hailing the UAE for its pro-business environment, as well as a strong message anchored around globalisation and sustainability.
“It is impossible to visit this country without being wowed, it is a towering example, quite literally, if you look outside, of what can be achieved.
Lots of people questioned whether all of this investment in the desert would ever work, but your airports are international hubs, your tourist industry is a model for others to follow, you’re a business location of huge standing, there are over 100,000 of my fellow countrymen living here today, and I know that they don’t just come for the big attractions - the tallest building in the world, the biggest shopping mall in the world, the top seven star hotel in the world - they come here for the opportunities. They hope that in this global success story, they can write their own success stories.”
Speaking of the strong international relations between the UAE and the UK, Mr Cameron went on to say:
“We believe in openness and international trade, we believe in cooperation and dialogue, we work through multilateral organisations…. But all of these things are under threat today from the rise of populism, and the so-called strongman leaders around the world.
Their proponents say that the free enterprise system, trading with the world, engaging with the world, rejecting the extremes, celebrating diversity, and practising rational, reasonable, moderate politics, that all these things should be abandoned. I don’t agree. I am a big supporter of globalisation. I believe that there is strength in our diversity, and there is no way I think that we should go down the populist route of tearing up the things - the open economies, and the open societies - that we hold dear.
But equally, I do not think that we should ignore the concerns that have fuelled that rise. Because we should remember this, this sentiment of anti-globalisation, it does come from people. From real people’s hopes and fears, from their economic concerns, and from their cultural concerns. The pace of change being too fast.
We should respond to this cultural and political dislocation, not by throwing the baby out with the bathwater, but by course-correcting, and… I believe [this] is the right opportunity to do so.”
In discussing what business can do to correct the course that globalisation is currently taking, Mr Cameron said:
“I believe in responsible capitalism, growth has to be felt in people’s lives... We need business, big business, to step up to do far more, to deliver a fair economy, the more just society, and the sustainable environment that we want to see.”