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Persian Gulf-Pacific Asia Linkages in the Twenty-First Century: A Marriage of Convenience?

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by Christopher Davidson
ECIA Fellow
London School of Economics, n. 7, January 2010

An important new relationship is developing between the six monarchies of the Persian Gulf and the three most industrialized states of Pacific Asia. With little shared modern economic history and enormous political and socio-economic disparities, and separated by great geographical distances, the rapidly tightening economic interdependence between the two regions is a recent phenomenon that deserves considerable attention.
This paper dissects this by examining both the hydrocarbon and non-hydrocarbon trades between the two regions before turning to their increasingly bilateral sovereign wealth investments and their cooperation on major construction and infrastructural projects. The paper will then explain the absence of military security arrangements, but will also demonstrate how several other measures are being taken to create stronger non-economic bonds. Finally, a number of future collaborations will be discussed: for the most part these are not only innovative, but also highly symbolic of a more interdependent relationship.

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