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EVEN as the world’s attention is riveted on Dubai’s ambitious and high profile $6.8 billion bid for the UK-based ports operator, P&O, the Gulf investors are making big splash around the world, especially in Asian markets.

The US interest groups may have worked themselves up over the Dubai Ports World’s winning bid for the P&O that allows the Dubai and UAE to control some of the most important ports around the world including those in the US. But other big markets elsewhere such as the growing economies of China, India and Far East are only too willing to welcome investments from this part of the world.

In fact, according to available economic inputs, the Middle Eastern wealth, buoyed by the recent upsurge in oil prices, is playing a crucial role in big markets other than those in the West. The fact that not only big Middle East-based companies and investors but the governments in the region are looking to diversify their resources and financial assets to invest in non-oil sectors. Hence the attention on Asian markets which are hungry for more investments even as they are linked to US dollar, the currency of global oil industry, offering reassuring economic stability.

This is a significant shift that could have important political and economic implications in the years to come. Since, historically speaking, the West — US and Europe — have always been a favourite destination for Gulf investments, this shift of economic focus is remarkable although not altogether. After all, post September 11, we are living in an altogether different world.

Source: Khaleej Times

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