KUWAIT: The exchange of trade and information between Asian countries and Gulf Corporate countries (GCC) is invaluable for the energy security of south and east Asia, experts say. The remarks came during a panel discussion held as part of the “Looking East: Future prospects of Asia” conference organized by Kuwaiti think tank Reconnaissance Research.
The panel featured three experts from India and Japan who discussed the stability of the energy market, with a special focus on the security of the GCC region for the future of major Asian economies such as India, Japan, China and South Korea. Reconnaissance Research Founder and CEO Abdulaziz Mohammed Al-Anjeri moderated the discussion.
As Gulf countries, including Kuwait, are key players in world energy market, the security of the GCC region is something that “cannot be overstated,” said Senior Fellow at the Japanese Ministry of Defense and Former Ambassador to Qatar and the United Arab Emirates Kazuo Sunaga. Japan, he added, has had a prominent role in maintaining maritime security and will continue to uphold that commitment in the future.
Managing Director at the Institute of Energy Economics in Japan Yukari Yamashita emphasized that cooperation in the energy and technology fields between oil importing and producing countries “could accelerate cost reduction, in particular, to the advancement of decarburization.”
The world faces many challenges threatening the stability of the energy market, she said, with climate change and finding clean energy alternatives being the biggest. The worldwide shortage in natural gas supplies cause by the Russian-Ukrainian conflict has led many Asian countries to reconsider using coal and fossil fuels, especially as people suffer from harsh weather conditions. Until better energy alternatives are found, “fossil fuel is still required not only in the short term but medium and long terms,” she said.
Director of the Gulf Studies Program at India’s Jawaharlal Nehru University Aftab Kamal Pasha called for continued cooperation between Asia and the GCC, whereby the GCC continues to supply Asia’s energy needs. “We look at the security and peace issue in the GCC as directly linked with the security of South and East Asia, as our economies and prosperities are interconnected,” he said. Pasha noted the global trend to look east. He said the region has been gaining more attention over the past three decades, “because nobody can contain the explosive growth of some of the Asian countries”.
Pasha hailed Kuwait’s early adoption of democracy led by the late Amir Sheikh Abdullah Al-Salem Al-Sabah. He added that Kuwait’s support for developing countries through the Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development has gained it allies across the world. India, he said, received funding for more than 80 energy and infrastructure projects through the fund’s soft loans.
Sunaga also spoke of Kuwait’s effective role as an intermediary in regional conflicts and the contributions the country has made by hosting international conventions aimed at discussing and implementing peaceful resolutions. He highlighted the decades-long relationship between Japan and Kuwait, calling it “a productive and a friendly relation that witnessed multiple historical events such as Iraq’s invasion in 1990 and Japan’s earthquake in 2011.” “Kuwait and Japan showed us the way countries should behave when facing such calamities,” he said. – KUNA
Read the full article here