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Eastern promises

Eastern promises

As they seek a path out of the economic crisis, Gulf countries and companies in various industries are increasingly looking to the Far East.


December 12, 2010 3:21 by

The Beijing flight actually continues on to Nagoya in Japan, though Etihad hopes to decouple the routes. And no doubt there will be demand for the Japan route –according to the head of the Arabic League, Secretary General Amr Moussa, exports from Arab nations to Japan more than tripled in value last year. In 2008, exports to Japan were worth $36 billion; in 2009, that figure was $136 billion, making the Far Eastern country the third biggest market after the US and the EU. Meanwhile, said Moussa, Japanese investment totaled $4 billion in 2009 – up from $1.5 billion in 2005.

Moussa was speaking at the opening of an economic forum in Gammarth, near Tunis. “This economic forum aims to establish a global partnerhip between Arab nations and Japan, and offer the opportunity to create effective new mechanisms that reflect the common interests of advanced nations, emerging nations and developing nations,” Moussa said.

Closer to home, UAE publishers are apparently taking advantage of the boom in Chinese tourists by launching magazines for them. According to the National, no fewer than three Chinese magazines have launched since June. The aim is to reach the increasing number of Chinese visitors expected after China relaxed travel rules last year, allowing tour groups to visit the UAE for the first time.

Concierge Chinese, Jade, and Aviamost Chinese are the three titles now in the market. “With the coming of Chinese tourists, they are known as the ‘new Russians’ in the retail industry,” said Fady Boustany, the executive director at MediaMost, the publisher behind Aviamost. “They are the buyers of high-end jewellery, watches and fashion,” he said.
That means advertising, of course, so publishers are seeking to grab their slice of the lucrative Far Eastern pie.

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