17 August 2011 00:19 [Source: ICIS news]
BUENOS AIRES (ICIS)--Argentina’s government has asked chemical companies to increase local production with the goal of reducing imports, an industry source said on Tuesday.
Argentine Industry Minister Debora Giorgi requested the chemical and petrochemical industries to invest about $25.5bn (€17.6bn) in order to triple production and reduce imports by more than $48.5bn by 2020.
“The Ministry’s projections coincide with the ones from the industry,” said Jose Maria Fumagalli, executive director of the Chemical and Petrochemical Industry Association (CIQyP).
Giorgi urged producers to “double nameplate capacity, develop new processes with added technology and generate an exporting leap to cater [to] the strong domestic and regional demand”.
She also stressed the importance of these industries as providers of raw materials.
“These sectors are key for the Argentine industry, and they have grown very strongly since 2003: the chemical sector by 144% and 77% in the case of the petrochemical industry”, Giorgi said.
“But the demand for these products continues to grow and therefore it is necessary to invest $25.5bn in the next 10 years to supply this demand, substitute imports and advance into regional markets”, continued Giorgi.
The request was in line with the latest government policies, which are aimed at reducing the nation’s trade deficit.
Local authorities have asked some industries such as the automotive and pharmaceuticals sectors to increase exports to match imports.
“The Industry Ministry has been focusing in ten industrial sectors which represent 80% of Argentina’s Industrial Gross Product. And these 10 include the chemical and petrochemical industries,” said Fumagalli.
Domestic demand for chemical and petrochemical products has generated a commercial deficit that the government is trying to reverse by increasing local production.
One of the goals of the Argentina Strategic Industrial Plan 2020 is to nearly triple petrochemical production to 14m tonnes/year from the current 5.5m tonnes/year.
($1 = €0.69)
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