Links Between East Asia and West Asia
The old Middle East disguises the growing reality of ties between the GCC region, and fast-growing economies and societies in West Asia. This is because the American naval strategist thought about the name of “Middle East”. This information was recorded in the National Newspaper by Mulavi 2011. The National Newspaper is published in the Middle East (Abu Dhabi). To the GCC countries, it has the sense of the political geography and fails to capture the commercial or cultural geography with some countries. However, nowadays, GCC states trade with Asia more than with Arab countries. As it is reported, Asia will be the biggest GCC trading portion by 2017, which is more relevant to come in East and South Asia. Critics from the western countries opined that the 21st century can be said to be the “Asian century”. However, the aspect of “Asian Century” cannot be achieved without the West Asian countries. This is because the West Asian countries are the key oil producing countries. GCC sovereign wealth funds have become significant investors in emerging Asian economy, and the growing Asian middle-classes (especially in China). The rise of Asia might be one of the most consequential geoeconomic and geopolitical trends in the industrial revolution lifted Europe and the US to economic prominence I agree with the idea that says, “the growing ties between West Asia and East Asia will drive this growth” (Molavi, 2011, p.1).
Ties between West Asia and East Asia
The GCC belong to the West Asia region because the Middle East no longer exists. Middle East refers to the GCC and other countries such as Iran, and Iraq. In addition, Levant as well as North Africa belongs to the group of Middle East countries. However, even though these countries are called Middle East, there has been an on-going debate about dropping the name and to use the name West Asia. The commercial and cultural aspects of the region show that the countries can be called West Asia. There is an increasing interaction between the GCC and countries such as China, Iran as well as India. The GCC trades more with the Asian countries than with the Arabian countries. Therefore, the GCC countries can be said to belong to the West Asia. On the other hand, the East Asian countries, as well as the South Asian countries to create the biggest trade partners with the GCC countries. It is predicted that, by 2017, GCC and the Asian countries will establish the biggest trade partnerships. China and India have grown steadily, and they have dominated the trade patterns of the GCC (Molavi, 2011).
The term “Middle East” has changed today, and people refer to the countries in the region as the Gulf Cooperation Council states or the GCC. The word West Asia has been adopted. Apart from the GCC, other countries such as the North Africa, Iran, Iraq have been included. The cultural and commercial history of the region shows that the countries intermingled with the East Asian countries in the early years. Therefore, it is necessary to consider the GCC states to be a portion of the West Asia. On the other hand, East Asia as well as the South Asia has been referred to as the East Asia (Molavi, 2011).
The increasing need for oil has caused the Asian countries to seek trade with the GCC. Today, the GCC sells more oil to the Asian countries than any other country globally. China and India have a very high demand for oil, and there is an increasing demand for the commodity. This indicates that the trade patterns between China and India and the GCC will continue to strengthen in the near future. On the other hand, the GCC has a high demand for manufactured products from China and India. Many wealthy people in GCC prefer investing in Asian countries. In addition, there is an increasing number of middle-class in Asia. These people have become the leading tourists in Dubai and other tourist towns in GCC such as Abu Dhabi (Molavi, 2011).
There is an increasing trade between Asia and the GCC. It is evident that, in the 1980s, GCC had about 10% trade with Asia. However, the trend increased, and in 2010, the rate of trade between the two regions was more than 36%. Previously, people in the GCC used the international system of banking as well as the US treasuries. People in the GCC invested their wealth in portfolios that would preserve the wealth rather than maximize the capital yield. Today, the investors manage their capital instead of outsourcing services. The GCC bank system has been integrated with the emerging markets such as the Asian assets (Economist Intelligence Unit 2012).
Today there has been liberalization of the capital market in the Asian countries. This has strengthened the business environment, and conditions for foreign investment have improved. In addition, the GDP growth of the region has improved. The growth is attributed by the increase in public investment. This strategy has increased the investment opportunities for the Gulf investors (Economist Intelligence Unit 2012).
The relationship between the GCC and the Asian countries has improved. The volume of trade between the two regions has tripled in the last half a decade. The demand for Gulf exports has increased among the Asian countries. In addition, the Asian labor market has been exporting workers to the GCC. This has increased the cultural overlap between the two regions. In addition, private capital flows have increased. This is an indication that the East Asia and the West Asian countries have many things in common (Economist Intelligence Unit 2012).
The geopolitical pattern favors the GCC to diversify strategically. In the past, the West Asian had close trade links with the US. The reasons for the relationship are to expand the GCC strategically and economically. This is portrayed by the fact that the GCC established a short term relationship with the US. However, in the long term, the GCC has established links with the East Asian countries. This is a natural strategy that the GCC has experienced. This is because the GCC needs to extend and diversity the economic activities. The GCC states have realized that any relationship with the East Asian countries will be of considerable importance in the future (Economist Intelligence Unit 2012).
The two regions have increased academic exchange. This means that the number of people seeking education in the two regions has increased. When the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology was launched, a great number of foreign students has been from China. The university is located in Saudi Arabia, and Chinese form the largest number of foreign students. On the other hand, a large number of students from GCC study in China (Molavi, 2011).
There are many other aspects that tie the two regions. The two regions share similar languages. Language has been a strong factor that has united the cultures of the two groups. In addition, the two regions share common films. Other aspects that are shared are music and poems. The people from the two regions share the same concerns. For example, the problems facing the Palestinians have been a common concern between the two regions. Recently, the Ali al Naimi, the minister for petroleum in Saudi Arabia was given an honorary degree from a university in China. The minister said that he is an Asian and that he comes from West Asia (Saudi Arabia). This aspect was not a surprise because the Chinese consider the Middle East to be West Asia (Molavi, 2011).
There is considerable movement between GCC and Asia. Records at the airport travels indicate that many people from the GCC travel to Asia. The movement involves business activities, tourism, labor transport and students. The air flights indicate that the GCC is the main hub for transport between the two regions (Molavi, 2011).
Asians forms the biggest population of foreigners in the GCC. This is indicated by the large number of expatriates from India. In addition, Indians form the largest number of foreign participants in the Bollywood awards. For example, the Miss India who was awarded in Abu Dhabi. The Omans account most of their riches to have been acquired due to their interaction with the Indians. In Mumbai, the culture as well as the architecture indicates a lot of influence from the Oman (Molavi, 2011).
There have a substantial improvement in the economic and political patterns between the west Asia and the east Asia. The geopolitical, as well as the geoeconomic patterns, are similar to those of the European countries and the United States of America. Europe has established a long term trade relationship with the US, and this pattern is similar to the GCC and the east Asia (Molavi, 2011). The trends being experienced in the East and West Asia are likely to take full control in the near future. The two regions have made the positive trend towards establishing strong trade partnership.
The increasing relationship between between West Asian countries (GCC) and the East Asia has intensified. This has happened due to the high rate of economic and political partnership between the two regions. The geographical confusion between the two regions has been eliminated, and the GCC has been termed as West Asia. The link between the two regions has been intensified by the shared aspects such as language, culture, education, transport, trade and other factors. The trade links between the GCC and the Asian countries has intensified, and this is reflected by the shift in GCC trade with the US to Asian trade. The movement has been caused by political, regional and economic factors. In the long run, the East Asian countries will fully form a relationship with the East Asian countries. Therefore, the trend will grow in the future because the leaders of the two regions are willing to strengthen the ties. There is a need for the leaders of the two regions to establish a good environment for the relationship to survive in the long term. This can be achieved by establishing an environment that favors the culture and the political activities of the two regions.
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