GCC-Asia trade relations have grown substantially over the past few years and have largely substituted for trade between the GCC and the Unites States and Europe. In the process, Asia has become the GCC's most important trading partner accounting for nearly 60 per cent of its total foreign trade. Both the GCC and Asia have become vital to the world economy as big exporters. Asia has successfully positioned itself as the centre for the manufacture of goods for export and the GCC remains the top region for energy exports. The International Energy Agency (IEA) expects energy trade between the Middle East and Asia to grow rapidly in years to come as the US moves towards energy self-sufficiency. Asia could account for up to 90 per cent of oil exports from the Middle East in the future. Yet despite this optimistic outlook, there are significant challenges awaiting the development of Asian - GCC relations in the medium and long term.