John K. Defterios, Anchor and Emerging Markets Editor, CNN International speaks during the 2012 of the World Economic Forum at the congress centre in Davos, Switzerland, January 27, 2012. (Wikipedia/Michael Wuertenberg)
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The size of Saudi Arabia's King Salman entourage on his tour of Asia has been stealing the show, but there are big business and political priorities that are driving this monthlong journey.Asia is Saudi Arabia's commercial future," said Ben Simpfendorfer, founder and CEO of Silk Road Associates.On the first leg of the king's visit to Malaysia and Indonesia, Saudi Arabia signed deals worth $13 billion to expand downstream operations. State oil giant Saudi Aramco plans to double its refining capacity to 10 million barrels a day by 2025 according to Riyadh-based Gulf Research Center and these transactions could help bolster the IPO plans for Aramco next year.Asia represents nearly a third of daily global demand at 31.4 million barrels last year.According to FACTS Global Energy, of the estimated daily demand increase of 1.4 million barrels a day, one million is coming from Asia.
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