(EnergyAsia, April 3, Thursday) — The courtship between the Middle East and Asia is starting to narrow down to a handful of partners.

Not all Middle Eastern countries are rich or blessed with lots of oil, and not all Asian countries are dynamic and have bright economic prospects.

China and India join long-time Middle East favourites Japan and Korea as destinations for oil exports and downstream investments while Singapore, Hong Kong and Malaysia vie for Arab investments and a chance to manage oil funds.
The losers would include the smaller economies like the Philippines, Sri Lanka, Laos and Taiwan, which have to live with high oil prices, but receive little of the petrodollars by way of investments from the oil producers.

Last month, the Philippines lost an ace investor in Saudi Aramco, which is divesting its 40% stake in Petron after 14 years with only modest results to show. Despite its credentials as the largest Muslim country in the world, Indonesia has been unable to court serious investment from Saudi Arabia and Kuwait.
For the rest of this article and others, please see the April issue of EnergyAsia Report.

prices: they love it. They may even be secretly wishing for higher prices. Since US crude futures broke through the psychological $100-a-barrel barrier on the first trading day of 2008, there has been no signs of worry from producers that the world economy might crash or alternative energy would become viable or new exploration efforts…

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