In Praise of Data II

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I took part in three conversations in three countries in three different sectors last week – all of them about data and governance.

In Beirut, at a meeting with the Union of Arab Banks, we discussed how perspectives on the dynamics of the Arab region could change if misconceptions were to be remedied with quality data. The use of well-structured indicators and metrics would allow for intelligent analysis and constructive debates. Lebanon and other Arab countries face significant youth unemployment, for example, and designing the right economic policies therefore matters greatly to the future of the area. 

At the Marine Finance conference held in Cyprus, I spoke about the potential of the Mediterranean as a connected market and discussed the implications for the shipping sector, investments and the region. The debate that followed covered the need for shared data among shipowners and ship managers in order to better manage assets and resources.

Last, but not least, in advising the organisers of the large annual conference on regional growth in the Greek Peloponnese, we discussed the possibility of developing regional Growth Indicators to enable Greece to more effectively benchmark local growth.

While praising data, it is also important to remember that there is always a need for accountability and data transparency if the private sector is to invest in responsible growth and develop the region.