InterviewMore collaboration needed between GCC and China - VIDEO

14 June 2010 15:20  [Source: ICIS news]

By Prema Viswanathan

DUBAI (ICIS news)--Middle East petrochemical players would benefit immensely by strengthening ties with Chinese companies at the lower end of the value chain, Abdulwahab Al-Sadoun, GPCA (Gulf Petrochemicals & Chemicals Association) secretary general, said on Monday.

“For instance, the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) wants to move down the synthetic rubber value chain, but doesn’t have a developed automotive industry like China does, so there is a good opportunity for market collaboration and information sharing there,” said Al-Sadoun on the sidelines of the first GPCA Plastics Summit.

Forums such as the ongoing summit could accelerate the process of knowledge-sharing by enabling petrochemical players and converters in the GCC to network with each other and the region’s mid-stream players to explore collaboration with their counterparts in the rest of the world, he said.

Petrochemical capacity in the Middle East has been projected to jump by 85% to 115m tonnes/year by 2015.

“Currently we are exploring more actively the potential of collaboration mid-stream, but hope in time that there can be some partnerships at the converter level,” said Al-Sadoun.

The summit would also focus extensively on issues such as trade barriers against Middle East exports and sustainability initiatives in the regional plastics industry.

“Through the GPCA’s Advocacy Committee, we are looking at ways to tackle anti-dumping and other issues that GCC producers are facing. But at the same time, we are also trying to implement Responsible Care in the Gulf region through workshops and seminars which promote social responsibility and sustainability in the plastics sector,” he said.

By 2012, the United Arab Emirates has planned to ban the manufacture and use of thin disposable plastic bags, in response to the `Clean up the Gulf' campaign.

“We don’t see this (imminent) ban as a major threat to the industry, as we believe recycling is a concept that will promote sustainability and social responsibility among plastics makers,” said Al-Sadoun.

The three-day conference ends on Wednesday, 16 June.

($1 = €0.83)

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By: Prema Viswanathan
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