For decades Malaysia’s Islamic identity has strongly factored into the latter’s ties with GCC members. Kuala Lumpur has long engaged the Arab Persian Gulf monarchies closely on issues of major ideological and geopolitical importance to the wider Arab/Islamic world from the Soviet Union’s invasion of Afghanistan to the unresolved question of Palestine. This article discusses the challenges Malaysia faces in preserving and further nurturing its long-standing relations with the GCC countries.
To shield themselves from the volatility of global oil markets, GCC states have sought to diversify their economies by investing in a host of non-oil industries, especially services, commerce, and manufacturing.
In this article, Matteo Legrenzi argues that the Arab Gulf states are unlikely to escape the boom and bust cycles of the global oil market for decades and that we should be cautious in evaluating the success of non-oil Gulf firms.