Asian & Arab: A Diverse and Dynamic Region
The term “asian & arab” refers to the geographic and cultural region that spans from the westernmost part of Asia to the easternmost part of Africa. It includes countries such as Bahrain, Cyprus, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Oman, Palestine, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, and Yemen. It also encompasses various ethnic groups such as Arabs, Turks, Iranians, Kurds, Azerbaijanis, Armenians, Assyrians, Copts, Druze, Jews, and many others.
The region has a rich and diverse history that dates back to ancient times. It has been the cradle of civilizations such as Mesopotamia, Egypt, Persia, and Anatolia. It has witnessed the rise and fall of empires such as the Assyrian, Babylonian, Persian, Macedonian, Roman, Byzantine, Umayyad, Abbasid, Ottoman, and British. It has been the birthplace of major religions such as Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Zoroastrianism, and Baha’i. It has also been a crossroad of trade and cultural exchange between Asia, Africa, and Europe.
Today, the region is home to more than 400 million people who speak dozens of languages and dialects. It is a hub of economic activity and innovation with sectors such as oil and gas, tourism, banking, aviation, education, health care, and technology. It is also a hotspot of political and social change with movements such as the Arab Spring, the Kurdish quest for autonomy, the Iranian nuclear deal, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the Syrian civil war, and the rise and fall of ISIS. It is a region that faces many challenges but also offers many opportunities for cooperation and development.
The Asian & Arab Trade Chamber of Commerce is an organization that aims to promote trade and investment between the countries and businesses of this region. It provides a platform for networking, information sharing, advocacy, and capacity building. It also fosters cultural understanding and dialogue among its members and partners. The chamber believes that by enhancing economic ties and mutual trust among the asian & arab countries and communities, it can contribute to peace and prosperity in this vital part of the world.
Trade Opportunities between Asian & Arab Countries
Trade is an important pillar of the asian & arab cooperation, as it can create mutual benefits, foster development, and enhance people-to-people ties. According to the statistics of the China-Arab States Cooperation Forum (CASCF), the bilateral trade volume between China and Arab states reached 239.8 billion U.S. dollars in 2020, up 1 percent year on year despite the impact of the pandemic. China has been the largest trading partner of Arab states for six consecutive years.
However, there is still room for further growth and diversification of trade between asian & arab countries, especially in light of the current challenges and opportunities in the global trading system. According to the OECD, some of the current concerns about trade include high barriers and state support that hinder fair competition, as well as the lack of trade rules that keep pace with the changes in the global economy, such as digitalization, environmental protection, and innovation.
Therefore, asian & arab countries should seize the opportunities to deepen their trade cooperation in various fields and sectors, such as e-commerce, clean energy, health care, agriculture, and tourism. They should also work together to uphold multilateralism and reform the World Trade Organization (WTO) to make it more responsive and effective. By doing so, they can contribute to building a more open, inclusive, and resilient trading system that benefits all.