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Expat health insurance customers may be among those flocking to the Middle East, as new estimates suggest the Gulf’s population is set to increase significantly.
By 2020, the total population of the six states in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) is set to increase by one-third to 53 million, a report has indicated.
Published by the Economist Intelligence Unit and sponsored by Qatari Finance Center Authority, the study warns the rising numbers coupled with a relatively young population could pose problems for the future.
The GCC in 2020: The Gulf and its People suggests states will face competing pressures from factions championing the rights of both nationals and foreign workers.
Anticipating the rise in population growth, the report’s authors call for a renewed investment in the states’ infrastructure, education and health systems.
While a dependency on expatriate labour is likely to continue in the long-term, the structure of the states’ workforce is likely to change as more young, educated women aim to pursue careers.
In related news, the Japanese prime minister Yukio Hatoyama has said the country should attract more foreign workers to counter an ageing population.
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