Banks should give better incentives to save in the UAE

Readers discuss the economy, Afghanistan and North Korea
DUBAI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES Ð July 15: Dirham is the currency of the United Arab Emirates. UAE dirham was introduced in 1973. (Pawan Singh / The National) *** Local Caption ***  PS06- DIRHAMS.jpg

With the dirham pegged to the dollar, it makes sense that the UAE Central Bank follows the federal policy and remains aligned. What I don’t understand is why every time the rate increases, my bank immediately increases my mortgage rate and instalments but not the rate on my savings deposits, which remains at 0.25 per cent. People would be more likely to keep at least some of their savings in the UAE if banks were more competitive with the interest they pay, which would improve banking liquidity, allowing better access to credit for SMEs, the sector that most struggles in this regard. This would, in turn, contribute to healthy, organic economic growth for the broader community and economy, rather than simply serving as bank profits.

Elan Fabbri, Dubai

Is permanent peace within reach in Afghanistan?

In reference to your article Afghanistan soldiers and Taliban fighters celebrate Eid ceasefire (June 16): the successful three-day truce that saw Afghan soldiers and Taliban fighters celebrating Eid with one another is a very encouraging sign. This could pave the way for a permanent peace agreement, which would greatly benefit not just the Afghan people but also those across the region. But of course, whether this will happen after years of armed struggle remains unclear. I'm afraid only time will tell us if this is the case.

K Ragavan, Denver

It is not easy to restore peace if you do not have strong education standards, cohesive leadership, co-operation and frank dialogue. What Afghanistan needs now is a roadmap.

Ahmad Mumtaz, Abu Dhabi

The past is encouraging when it comes to North Korea

I write in reference to the incisive piece by Alan Philps Can showmanship and chemistry really advance the cause of a US-North Korean peace? (June 14): yes, it is indeed the case that the Singapore summit could have dispensed with some of the showmanship and over-the-top style.

The summit could perhaps have detailed the next or immediate first steps in the process of North Korean denuclearisation. As it is, if North Korean leader Kim Jong-un reneges from the agreement, there is very little that can be done due to a lack of enforcement mechanisms. However, let us not give up hope. After all, against the odds, Mikhail Gorbachev stood by his word in 1989 and tore down the Berlin Wall, helping bring to an end the Cold War.

Rajendra Aneja, Dubai