InterviewGCC plastics to double annually against local GDP - VIDEO

04 April 2011 16:06  [Source: ICIS news]

By Ong Sheau Ling

GCC plastics to double annually against GDPDUBAI (ICIS)--Plastics demand in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) will potentially grow at an average of 9% year-on-year up to 2015, twice the estimated GDP growth of about 5%, GPCA secretary general Abdulwahab Al-Sadoun said on Monday.

Plastics consumption in 2010 was estimated at 3.3m tonnes, and is projected to hit 5.3m tonnes by 2015, he said in an interview with ICIS at the second Gulf Petrochemicals & Chemicals Association (GPCA) Plastics Summit.

“The growth is driven by two factors. The first is the population growth and the second is the rapid expansion in both the soft and hard infrastructure. This will then stimulate the demand for pipe, film, frames and so on,” said the secretary general.

“Soft infrastructure is the human resource. Professionals, equipped with the necessary skills will grow GCC into an important plastics hub,” he said.

Local governments in the GCC region were also keen to see the plastics industry flourish because of the economic value and vast number of job opportunities to be created, he added.

This was evident by the growing number of industrial cities dedicated to plastics production, for example the Polymers Park in Abu Dhabi.

Three weeks ago, Saudi Basic Industries Corp (SABIC) and the Saudi Industrial Property Authority (Modon) signed a three-way deal with Boston Consulting Group (BCG) to conduct a study to develop six industrial cities in the Kingdom.

Besides that, industrial clusters are being looked into as well, such as in packaging and the automotive sector, said Al-Sadoun.

Also, the shift of converting and processing business from Europe to the Middle East adds on as a growth booster.

“We can see facilities closing down in Europe, while new ones set up here. European counterparts are losing the race in terms of competitiveness,” said Al-Sadoun, adding that converters based in GCC were either close to the market or the suppliers, which was advantageous.

In GCC, there are about 1,200 converters, 50% of which are reasonably sized, while the remaining are small and medium-sized end-users.

The three-day GPCA Plastics Summit, which closes on Wednesday, drew almost 400 attendees from the Gulf region and around the world.

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By: Ong Sheau Ling
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