Protectionism damaging to Russian polymer industry - SABIC

14 October 2010 11:06  [Source: ICIS news]

MOSCOW (ICIS)--Russian protectionism which aims to shield domestic polymer producers is in fact damaging local polymer converters, said a senior SABIC executive on Thursday.

Making imported polymer more expensive for Russian converters than for those in other Former Soviet Union (FSU) countries like the Ukraine, would mean that imported finished plastic products would be able to undercut Russian products in their home market, Geert Drummen, CEO Eastern Europe for SABIC, told delegates at the ICIS-MRC Russian Polymers Summit in Moscow.

This would eventually be to the detriment of domestic polymer producers, he said.

“It can harm the one you want to protect,” he added.

Drummen said he was hopeful that Russia’s entry to the World Trade Organisation (WTO) would help to reduce the level of protectionism.

The question of the public image of plastics was also something which the Russian industry would need to address.

It was not currently a hot topic in the region, but the public needed to be educated about plastics collection and recycling before supermarkets started to look at product substitution.

“Plastics are too valuable to throw away … they should be used twice,” he said.

“We should care about the image of our industry if we want to be there in 2030,” he added.

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By: Barbara Ortner
+44 20 8652 3214

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