This essay examines China-Iran trade relations, as well as Chinese investments in Iran. Particularly, it asks whether the Chinese-Iranian stated ambition to increase the value of bilateral trade to $600 billion within a decade is attainable. Additionally, it identifies the factors responsible for the trade deficit in Iran’s favor, and shows that the pace of China’s foreign direct investment (F.D.I) in Iran is slowing in spite of absolute increases.
Since Oman and South Korea established official diplomatic ties in 1974, trade has largely defined the Muscat-Seoul relationship. Oman’s oil and liquefied natural gas (L.N.G.) and South Korea’s automobiles, electronics, and large vessels have dominated bilateral trade. Yet as Seoul stakes out increasingly vital national interests in the volatile Middle East, a host of geopolitical and security trends will more meaningfully influence the future of Omani-Korean relations.
Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani warned Qataris in November that due to tumbling oil prices, the government could no longer “provide for everything.” The following month he addressed “wasteful spending, overstaffing and a lack of accountability,” sending a clear message that austerity measures were on the way.
Traditionally, South Korea’s economic relations with the Gulf states have been primarily based on energy trade and construction. The Park Geun-hye administration is keen to expand the scope and boost the value of South Korea's economic relations with the GCC countries and with Iran.
China is a major economic partner of the GCC countries. This essay discusses the size and scope of this economic relationship, and considers how these ties might evolve as China's ambitious One Belt One Road (OBOR) and Maritime Silk Road (MRS) initiatives take shape.
The Chinese aim to gradually grow with Iran a multi-dimensional partnership based on mutual understanding and trust, and see in Iran a potential power that could act as its partner in an Asian arena where many see China’s own rise as a threat.
Gonul Tol, director of MEI's Center for Turkish Studies, delivered the following testimony at a hearing of the U.S. House of Representatives' Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Europe, Eurasia, and Emerging Threats on February 3, 2016.