At a recent conference in Dubai, the theme was the relationship among international oil companies, national oil companies and governments, about job creation, the severe shortage of skilled manpower to meet a growing and more diverse energy industry and investment constraints in the Middle East, where the state-owned oil and gas monopolies own the resources but where the laws and regulations governing foreign investment vary from country to country.
Serious stuff except for one brief moment where the delegates and the speaker from Ghana burst into laughter. She had been discussing the role of small and medium businesses and how they can be tailored to meet the needs of the energy industry and of foreign operators. But a gentleman from the audience suggested that perhaps when the Chinese companies won contracts, they could leave their cooks behind and teach locals to cook Chinese meals for their staff.
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