Highlights of Dr. Florence Eid-Oakden’s keynote at ONS 2018 on China’s role in MENA oil trade, by World Oil


“‘One thing that became clear in one of the sessions at ONS is that China remains an important oil trading partner and lynchpin of stability for the MENA (Middle East/North Africa) region.

In her presentation, Dr. Florence Eid-Oakden, CEO and chief economist at Arabia Monitor, noted that the Sino-Arab trade growth had been averaging 18.6% per annum before the oil price drop of 2014. ‘Now, after a period of retraction, that trade relationship is showing resilience,’ said Eid-Oakden. Particularly problematic, after the U.S. reinstituted sanctions, is the trading relationship between China and Iran. ‘Regaining 2014 trade levels could take awhile, ’explained Eid-Oakden. ‘The question is what happens to trade between China and Iran, given the new sanctions. It’s complicated, because China today is different from the China of 2009. China needs to be integrated into the world economy. ’

Eid-Oakden postulated that Saudi Arabia could become a net beneficiary of the situation, if Iranian exports to China decline. ‘And let us not forget, in the Sino-Saudi relationship, the additional petrochemicals opportunity.’”

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