Monday, January 16, 2006
It has been an honour and a special treat to participate in a workshop organized by the Gulf Research Center (GRC) in Dubai on January 4 and 5.
The theme of the workshop “Dynamic Alliances: Strengthening ties between GCC and Asia,” was addressed by a number of a prominent personalities including the Secretary-General of the Association of South East Asian Nations (Asean) Ong Keng Yong and former foreign minister of Japan Koji Kakizawa in addition to some 75 experts.
The GRC Chairman, Mr. Abdulaziz Sager noted that the "increasing economic ties will impact the political and security dynamics and even keep open the possibility of them taking a more central role.....". Asia, he added, "consumes 23 million barrels per day, which is 30 percent of the world’s demand. The GCC exports two-thirds of its oil output to Asia, which could more than double by 2020. Further, more than half of GCC exports go to Asian countries while a third of GCC imports are from Asia. Together, the GCC-Asia oil and non-oil trade figure is approximately $200 billion. That figure is certain to grow.........." Read the press release for more
On the first day of the workshop the news came of the demise of Sheikh Maktoum, the ruler of Dubai. All of us, paricularly foreign paricipants, were reassured when the GRC chairman declared that the workshop would continue as planned.
It was a decision that would certainly win the late ruler's approval. Life must go on inspite of grief.
Thanks GRC for a very effective workshop and for very generous hospitablity.