Gulf Research Center
will hold the Annual Workshop entitled:
Dynamic Alliances: Strengthening ties between GCC and Asia
4 - 5 January, 2006
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Introduction:The GRC’s 2006 Annual conference “Dynamic Alliances: Strengthening Ties between the GCC and Asia” will address the GCC’s growing bilateral trade and investment relations with Asia along with the correlated political and security implications. Asia’s growing role in the global economy and energy markets in the coming decade will likely influence the long-term political economy of the GCC. Asia"s oil consumption of 23 million barrels per day is already responsible more than 30 percent of the world’s oil production. This trend that is forecast to continue with growth expected to rise nearly 50 percent by 2010 and more than double by 2020. Currently, two-thirds of GCC oil exports go eastwards to Asia. Cooperation and greater linkages between the two regional blocs in the oil sector is thus a key element to ensuring both security of supply for Asian consumers and of demand for GCC oil producers. The rise in demand by Asian countries such as China, Japan, India and South Korea for secure energy sources is likely to shape international relations in the coming decades.Economic integration between the GCC and Asian countries has increased substantially over the last decade. Asia is now undoubtedly the GCC’s most important trading partner. At 54.4 percent, GCC exports to Asia currently constitute more than half their total exports and imports from Asia account for more than a third of the GCC total, with 32.3 percent. In particular, there has been tremendous growth in bilateral trade levels between the GCC and China and India, forming a large proportion of the aggregate figures. China is now the GCC’s second largest trade partner after the USA.As a result of the increasing economic ties between the Asian countries and the GCC, political and security dynamics are also taking a more central role. There can be no doubt as far as Asia is concerned that the emerging international relations picture will have an impact on the nature and direction of GCC-Asia economic and business ties. This includes regional interactions among the major Asian powers, the role played by the US in facilitating or complicating cooperative relationships and the involvement of international organizations as they try to balance the numerous competing forces and trends. Thus, while the economy may be the initial focus of Asian developments in the coming years, the political and security aspects will also become areas of great concern.The GRC annual conference aims at providing a guideline to future scenarios regarding Asia, especially the GCC-Asia relationship. Through the involvement and participation of a number of high-level government officials, intellectuals and business executives from both the Gulf region and Asia, the workshop will focus on the following objectives:Objectives of the Workshop• To critically analyze the rising demand for energy from Asian countries and its political ramifications for the Gulf region.• To analyze the impact of Asian conflicts (Indo-Pakistan, China-Taiwan) in terms of the implications for the GCC-Asia relationship.• To examine the future of US-China relations and its effects on regional and global security. • To deliberate potential areas of security cooperation among the GCC and Asia in order to combat the threat of terrorism.• To discuss the growing economic role for Asia in the oil and non-oil sectors of the GCC as well as the formalization of trade/investment agreements between the two blocs.
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