VIDEO: Saudi reforms important for region and Islamic world, says Maurice Levy
When I ran into Maurice Levy, Chairman of the Supervisory Board at Publicis Group, at the World Government Summit in Dubai last week, I reminded him that I had interviewed him almost 10 years ago at the World Economic Forum at Davos, Switzerland.
More importantly, he seemed to recall the encounter, or at least pretended to do so. When I asked him whether he has time for a quick interview, he readily agreed.
“I know Al Arabiya, let’s do it,” he said. The conversation began with the Summit itself and then quickly veered toward his expertise – image and brand building.
“What [reforms] Saudi Arabia is doing is very important for the country, the region and for the Islamic world, Maurice Levy, Chairman of the Supervisory Board at Publicis Group, has said adding that it is important that the Islamic world is not seen as a world of terror.
Speaking exclusively to Al Arabiya English on the sidelines of the World Government Summit last week, Levy said, he said that countries in the region that are facing conflict need to set their house in order before they can send a message to the world.
Countries in conflict
“First thing they have to do is fix the problem. You can do whatever you want in terms of communication but as long as you are bombarding your own population, you cannot have a good image,” he said.
“At the end of the day what a government has to do is to take care of its own population and to ensure that this population is happy and is receiving the kind of wealth that they need to take care of them,” Maurice Levy said.
Maurice had an interesting, and balanced, take on the Trump presidency. According to him there are negatives such as his tweets and some declarations while the positive is about the economy, tax reforms and creating jobs.
His parting comments were perhaps the most enduring: “This region deserves to be known for what it is doing and not what people are saying”.