Mideast, GCC companies can handle crisis - GPIC

04 December 2008 09:47  [Source: ICIS news]

DUBAI (ICIS news)--Producers in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries and the wider Middle East can weather the current financial crisis better than those in other regions, an executive from Bahrain’s Gulf Petrochemical Industries Co (GPIC) said on Thursday.

“We are sitting on a sea of feedstock, we have a well-established logistical infrastructure and we are very well placed geographically between the east and the west,” said GPIC general manager Abdulrahman Jawahery at the 3rd Gulf Petrochemicals and Chemicals Association (GPCA) forum.

Jawahery’s comments came after HSBC’s Hassan Ahmed said that strong cashflows and hefty margins would allow Middle Eastern corporations to weather the economic crisis.

He said that more than 24% of the 175,000bn cubic metres of world gas reserves were in the GCC countries and there is a massive potential for the Middle East to further its growth in the petrochemical industry.

“The current economical crisis is needed to weed out what I call 'side-players',” he said, explaining that he was referring to players that enter the petrochemical sector with a short-term profitability objective.

“Only the established ones will be left over at the end,” Jawahery said, adding that there will be consolidation from within the industry in the near to medium term.

“It is not the strongest that will survive this turmoil, nor the most intelligent, but the most responsive to change.”

The GPCA forum ends on Thursday.

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By: Bohan Loh
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