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What if the US and China turn into oil exporting countries?
The report showed that China's dependence on oil from Persian Gulf increased steadily year after year. The report stated that China imported from Middle East in 2011, nearly 2.9 million bpd (60% of its oil imports). While projections indicate that this number will double up in 2030 to nearly 7 million bpd.

The report showed that the United States possibility to turn into a source of energy is one of the most important factors that prompted China to follow the expansion strategy in the region to secure its energy sources. Therefore, China is planning to host an international peace conference between the Palestinians and the Israelis in the period between 18-19 June 2013 as a gate to install its influence more effectively and efficiently.

According to the report, China's imports from the Middle East grew from nearly $ 4 billion in 2000 to $ 160 billion in 2012, while exports grew from $ 6.5 billion to $ 121 billion during the same period.

Chinese companies increasing influence:

The report adds that the increasing influence of Chinese companies in the region comes at a time of declining military influence of the United States of America in the Middle East. China contributes to a number of major projects, especially with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia as a development of Fujian refinery for processing crude oil. Saudi Arabia is the largest oil supplier to China, where imports rose this year at a rate of 15% from a year earlier to 1.23 million bpd.
China has also spent more than $ 2 billion a year in Iraq to develop the fields of Alahdab, Halfaya and Rumaila in Iraq. Even when China's imports of Iranian oil fell from 555 thousand bpd to 402 thousand bpd in April 2013 due to the economic sanctions imposed on Iran, but its imports of Middle East oil rose to 62%.

Expansion in Africa:

According to the report, China has overtaken the United States in terms of trade with Africa. In 2010, China has become the largest trading partner of the black continent. The increasing trade between China and Africa at a rate of 30% on an annual basis in the year 2011 is expecting to reach $ 300 billion in 2015. Although China's oil imports fell to 9.5 million barrels in May last year, China’s imports of African oil rose from 1.5 million bpd to more than 33%.

Asian competition:

The report of the International Center for Development Studies shows that China in recent years is competing strongly with Japan and South Korea on the Middle East and Africa markets. While Japan import of the Middle East oil over the past year has increased to more than 80% of its oil imports, the US is expected to provide Japan quantities of liquid natural gas to reduce its dependency on oil from the Middle East and to achieve greater stability in economy.

Japan also announced that it has repeatedly expressed its support for a number of development projects in the Middle East and Africa. Recently, Japan has allocated financial aid package for Africa amounting to $ 31.7 billion extended to five years. It is building a number of power plants to nuclear energy in some Gulf states to reduce the consumption of oil in those countries. In addition, Japan is assisting in the establishment of desalination plants projects in Tunisia and university projects in Egypt.

The report adds that many Japanese companies are seeing the Middle East as an important center for expansion in the region. The United Arab Emirates alone has nearly 400 Japanese companies operating in their markets and working to increase census employees.

Although South Korea is planning to cut its oil imports which amounted to 950 million barrels, (85% from the Middle East), the volume of trade exchange between South Korea and the Arabian Gulf region amounted to nearly $ 112 billion. In 2010, Korean companies invested in Africa, $ 200 million, but this number has pumped to more than $ 32 billion during the past two years. In Rwanda it has been allocated $ 140 million to create a communications project and in Liberia it have been working create a compound for the manufacture of mobile phones, in addition to$ 30 billion investments in alternative energy in Nigeria.

The report of the International Center for Development Studies refers that Asian frenetic competition for the invasion of the Middle East and Africa coincide with the ebb and clear role of US and European companies which expresses the features of the economic map of the region in the next decade.


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The International Centre for Development Studies
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© Press Release 2013

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