Around 80% of the world's maritime oil trade passes through the Indian Ocean. And the economic and political might of the region is growing.
South Asia runs the grave risk of becoming caught in the US-China turf war and being forced into non-inclusive and unbalanced trade relations.
Proposed changes could make an already unbalanced multilateral trading system even worse for developing countries.
Is it too much to expect that, after the national elections are settled next May, the Indian government will begin to act East and secure its strategic development interests in the region?
Oil traders are still awaiting more definitive clues about the supply/demand balance, but volatility is likely to stick around for a while. In the short run, oil prices will likely follow global stock markets up or down on any given day until the fundamentals reveal a more discernable pattern.
Maintaining political commitment and public interest can help develop and sustain the continent’s maritime resources.
Remittances to South Asia are projected to increase by 13.5 % to US$ 132 billion in 2018, a stronger pace than the 5.7 % growth seen in 2017. The upsurge is not only due to robust economic conditions in advanced economies, but the increase in oil prices increasing outflows from some GCC countries.
Iran’s oil exports are likely to remain limited in 2019, with a significant negative impact on Iran’s economy.
Saudi Arabia has its problems but it could withstand lower oil prices without feeling too much of a pinch.
A price increase from current levels hinges on action from OPEC+. Saudi Arabia has already signaled that it intends to lower exports by 500,000 bpd in December, and that further action might be forthcoming from OPEC+.