The emergence of China and India as global powers may become inevitable and may have significant implications for the Gulf region and beyond. The U.S. National Intelligence Council in its latest report ‘Global Trends 2030: Alternative Worlds,’ describes a world that will be radically transformed from what we know today. In a tectonic shift, by 2030, the reports says ‘Asia will have surpassed North America and Europe combined in terms of global power, based upon GDP, population size, military spending, and technological investment.’ China is projected to overtake the U.S. as the largest economy by 2017 in purchasing power parity (PPP) terms and by 2027 in market exchange rate terms. India should become the third ‘global economic giant’ by 2030 according to PwC forecasts.
The Heart of Relations
The Arab Gulf oil-producers will face growing competition in what they considered their ‘own marketing backyard’.Naser Al-Tamimi
The GCC oil producers export more oil to Asia than to Europe and North America combined. In fact, about two-thirds of GCC oil exports are channelled to the Asian continent. The Asian countries, individually and collectively, are heavily dependent on oil from the Gulf. According to OPEC’s statistics, the Gulf Arab states produced about 13 million barrels per day of crude oil in 2012, about two-thirds of this amount has been exported to the countries of Asia and the Pacific. The GCC countries provided China with more than a third (over 36%) of its oil imports (almost 20 percent from Beijing’s top supplier Saudi Arabia) in 2012. India imports as much as 45% of its oil from the Gulf States (19% from Saudi Arabia). As much as 70% of South Korea’s oil imports originate in the Arab Gulf states while Japan meets almost 80% of it is oil imports from GCC.