Gulf States investment in Western Countries Alarm?
Gulf States investment in Western countries is really alarming situation or just misunderstanding. Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and the UAE have invested heavily in many European banks, telecom, and tech companies. This situation has raised security concerns in Western countries. When Saudi Arabia isn’t luring the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo, Neymar, and Karim Benzema to Riyadh for hundreds of millions of euros a year, the Gulf kingdom is regularly investing to revive ailing businesses in the West.
Gulf Sovereign Wealth Funds
Along with its neighbors the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Qatar, the Saudi Public Investment Fund (PIF) has helped many Western countries, despite their faltering economies as oil prices plummeted at the height of the 2008-9 financial crisis. “Gulf sovereign wealth funds can invest large sums of money in an unbureaucratic way, especially in but when the going gets tough.”
Human rights Groups
Saudi Arabia currently has stakes in Nintendo, Uber, Boeing, and Newcastle United Football Club. In June, golf’s world competition, the PGA Tour, agreed to a controversial merger with Saudi-backed LIV Golf. Human rights groups condemned the development. PIF also owns about two-thirds of Lucid Motors, a potential future Tesla replacement. The Saudi Public Investment Fund has invested about 5.04 billion euros in the firm, which produces fewer than 10,000 vehicles a year, over the past five years.
Telecom Investment Research
Last week, Saudi Telecom announced the acquisition of a 10 percent stake in Spain’s telecommunications company Telefonica through an investment of 2.1 billion euros. Telefonica’s market value has shrunk by two-thirds over the past eight years. A price war for mobile and internet services, investments in new technologies, and expansion into new markets have left the Spanish firm in a huge debt trap. UAE phone company E& (formerly Etisalat) this year increased its stake in Vodafone, another major European telecom firm, from 10 percent to about 15 percent. Last month, E&S said it was considering a further increase in its stake to 20 percent.
National Security Concerns
Both of these investments have naturally raised national security concerns in the West because the Gulf states are authoritarian regimes with a long history of human rights abuses and rampant surveillance of their populations. Deputy Prime Minister Nadia Calvino said in an announcement last week that “the defense of Spain’s strategic interests will require an examination of the Telefonica stake.” The Madrid government is said to be particularly wary of Telefonica’s ties to the country’s defense sector.
The Oil-rich Gulf Countries are not China
“Saudi Arabia does not want the same interests as China or (UR): the Gulf states … Russia because China is pursuing this technology, which is already installed in highly sensitive communications infrastructure,” Wuertz said. However, this is not the case with Saudi Arabia. It doesn’t produce high-end technology like China’s Huawei.” Wuertz was referring to the ban imposed on Huawei and other Chinese tech firms by the US and many of its allies in recent years. Western intelligence agencies have raised concerns that Chinese wireless networking equipment may contain backdoors, enabling Beijing’s surveillance.
Huge Investment for High-end Chips
Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates are buying chips made by U.S. tech giant NVIDIA amid a global shortage of advanced semiconductors needed to power advanced artificial intelligence language models. Both countries have become leaders in AI technologies. Has spoken openly about desire. Many tech leaders have warned that the technology could be misused by authoritarian regimes. In fact, China has an edge over the rest of the world in monitoring its 1.4 billion population.
Monitoring Expertise and Close Ties with China
Gulf Arab states have recently made headlines for their surveillance capabilities. In 2019, Google and Apple removed TikTok, a popular messaging app in the UAE, from their stores. This was due to a report by the New York Times. According to which TikTok is being used by Emirati intelligence agencies to spy on users. Many analysts have warned that the spread of Chinese spy technology in the Middle East. Will pose additional security concerns for the West.
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