This was a lecture at the school of government that I got invited to. Really great one and an eye opener, however what surprised me is that there were only 15 people attending; I arrived a bit late, and was the sixteenth person, of course everyone looked at me, I was wondering why. Anyway, I found out at the end and during the Q&A that everybody that was invited were journalists?
Ah hah now I know why they looked at me, I wasn't a journalist! I am sure they were wondering which channel or newspaper was I working in, as normally all journalists know each other, its a pact that no one can penetrate!!
I saw my friend Monsieur Jerard Elfil, he asked me why am I attending this, answered frankly that I was invited to it. And glad that I came because I could use the knowledge in advising my PHD students? He said, so education for you is not a job? I said of course. He introduced me to his current employer, a large Chinese news agency, and promised to interview me for the Chinese readers. So guys, it's not only Dragon Mart, or the new roads and bridges builders, it's also news agencies, and soon TV stations that are from China? So when I said ten years ago to every one that the Chinese are coming and they laughed at me, they must recall the conversation, they are here, and rightly so.
Lets not digress, The lecture was about the Middle east goes east (or it should go east):
At present there are No collaborative economic relations between China and the Middle East.
Core structure of GCC is around oil
Huge Concern re the threat of Iran
Japan imports over 90% of its oil from the gulf
China and India is similar reliant on the gulf
Far east over 70% of their oil is from the gulf.
Most of these country are trying to Buy from GCC.
China is fearing the disruption of oil transfer if there is any military intervention on Iran and also fearing the sanctions on Iran especially that Iran imports a lot from china.
KSA produces ten million barrels a day, and it's the main country that benefited from the sanctions on Iran. (This point made me think? Is this the reason for having GCC problems with Iran? So the sanctions continue and they sell more oil? It seems to me that there is a resemblance here to the price wars and competition by large multinational companies? Also on another note, why is there poverty in KSA and their income is 30,000,000 dollars a day? Where is that money going?) at 30$ per barrel do the maths ( KSA generates 11 billion dollars from oil a year)
Iraq is trying to take over from Iran. So the gulf is more important to the far east and china. Far east and china are worried about the Piracy!!! In oil.
South Korea invested in oil fields in Abu Dhabi. Also signed a deal with Aramco, so they are able to reduce imports from Iran.
KSA is using its spare capacity of oil, if this continues, it's oil will reduce.
Vulnerability of GCC countries due to lack of bilateral relationship between the GCC, China and North Korea, so the oil can be dropped in value in case of economic disruption or financial crisis.
GCC should diversify much more to avoid dilution of oil prices.
South-south cooperation (basically the southern hemisphere) The lecturer doesn't see that this is going to grew.
Previously countries had cartels for basic commodities so they can control the prices, also OPIC was also created to control prices and OAPEC
New international economic order?
GCC have small population, no industry. Majority of the sale of oil is not directed towards regional development. Natural gas can help in diversification
Qatar, UAE and Oman are the main in exporting natural gas.
Competitive economies. Can GCC do that?
Can there be an oil crisis like the one happened in 1979? Or an embargo
Insurance? Shipping insurance is always done in London? So the East never thought of having their own insurance companies. China is now thinking of establishing its own insurance to avoid difficulty.
(research the meaning of nebbeh) something to do with china I guess.
Why is there deliberate misreading in the media about the increase in Chinese market interest.Two types of press, we have the yellow mail for the general readership, and the specialized media those who know what is happening. But even these are not fully informed as they also talk about the threat of China. India also is developing drastically in military capability. China and India are catching up to the west.
Oil embargo in July this year? Is this going to happen?
Will there be a nuclear agreement on the table?
Well, of course the subject was interesting, it just made me realize that I am 56 years old, and had never benefited from the Oil dollar? What I mean by this of course is being a citizen of countries that has so much thriftiness due to Oil one should get some benefit without having to work hard to get our day to day living? When will this ever happen? Will I starve when I retire? Or shall I quickly make some bucks to be able to live after my retirement.
Ideas to ponder on? I have none.