GPCA ’10: China investments, production to grow: Celanese CEO

09 December 2010 10:22  [Source: ICIS news]

DUBAI (ICIS)--Investments and chemical production growth in China will continue in the coming years as the Chinese economy moves on to become the world’s second biggest economy by 2020, David Weidman, chairman and CEO of Celanese, said on Thursday.

“Investments in China are substantial and growing. It’s difficult to talk to chemical industry executives without them talking about the investments they are making in China,” he said speaking at the 5th Gulf Petrochemicals and Chemicals Association (GPCA) forum.

These investments by partners and fully owned enterprises had been “strong” and would continue, he said.

Production locations had shifted from North America to Asia, especially China. North America, which used to be the centre of chemical production, was producing less than seen in the past, he added.

Manufacturing bases even within Asia had extended beyond Japan and South Korea, and substantial chemical production was taking place in southeast Asia and China, Weidman said.

Operating profit margins in North America had been flat in the past decade as raw material prices had pressured businesses and “gains from efficiencies have not translated into profitability”, he added. 

Global chemical industry sales had grown in the past 20 years from $1,200bn (€900bn) to $3,500bn, and the industry had been good at driving productivity and efficiency, he explained.  

Raw material prices had gone up by 135% since 2000, he added.

GPCA's three-day annual forum, which is being held in Dubai, the United Arab Emirates, runs through 7-9 December.

($1 = €0.75)

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By: Mahua Chakravarty
+65 6780 4359

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