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Chinese investment in Middle East win-win partnership: Crescent Petroleum CEO

Xinhua | Updated: 2017-01-20 13:55
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DAVOS - Chinese investment in the Middle East can produce a win-win result, said Majid Jafar, chief executive officer (CEO) of Crescent Petroleum.

Hailing China's policies in the region as "positive and necessary," Jafar, in a recent interview with Xinhua on the sidelines of an annual meeting of the World Economic Forum, said that "Chinese capital can partner well with Middle Eastern companies" in implementing major infrastructure projects.

The CEO of the oldest and largest private upstream oil and gas company in the Middle East described what he considered to be a win-win partnership, with large infrastructure projects providing stable economic returns over time for Chinese investors, and with the Middle East benefiting from rejuvenated economies, more jobs and competitiveness.

Noting that "many of the Western companies are leaving or reducing their investment," and that "many Western governments don't have the capacity for investments in the area," Jafar said he saw a different approach from China.

"Chinese entities have more of a long-term view," he said. "They're not so worried about what's in the news today in the Middle East. They take a longer-term perspective and partner with us in a longer-term manner, and that's very positive."

Stable relationship and strong partnership matter to a businessman who specializes in a volatile industry, where "the oil price is now double what it was this time last year, but also half what it was this time two years ago," he said.

Jafar has more reasons to prioritize partnerships with Chinese entities: the importance of China's energy market in demand, which affects oil prices.

"In terms of the demand, the most important thing is what's going to happen, I think, economically in China," he said. "China is the key market in terms of energy demand growth."

For Jafar, the presence of Chinese President Xi Jinping -- the first Chinese head of state to address the World Economic Forum -- in Davos was in itself a strong message.

"China's growing and positive role on the world stage, not only in terms of investment, but in terms of communication and engagement," meant people around the world were eager to hear the president's message, he said.

There are also reasons, according to Jafar, to hold a positive outlook for the Chinese economy and future growth.

"Of course the Chinese economy is changing," he said. "You're now starting to see a more mature economy with more of a focus on domestic demands."

"That means that the Chinese economy is also becoming more resilient and less dependent on the outside," said the CEO.

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