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China and India: When Over-Investment Is A Good Thing

By John Richardson

WHEN is over-investment a good thing? This was another question the blog was left pondering after a good conversation with a Beijing-based training delegate during ICIS Training’s recent China Seminar in Bangkok.

She made the point that …

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Jokes Don’t Keep You Healthy

By John Richardson

“I FEEL like I’m living in clouds of smog,” Zheng Qiaoyun, a Shanghai resident who kept her 6-month-old son at home told the UK’s Guardian newspaper.

“I have a headache, I’m coughing, and it’s hard to breathe …

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Credit Tightening The Key For China In 2014

By John Richardson

WE have been on a magical mystery tour during the second of half 2013 in an effort to discover what has really driven the 14% year-on-year increase in polyethylene (PE) apparent demand in China in January-August – …

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German Politicians Head In The Wrong Direction

By John Richardson

IT took Germany’s politicians five weeks, including a final marathon 17-hour negotiating session, to agree on a “grand coalition”, points out The Economist in this article. 

The trouble is that, despite this massive expenditure of hot air …

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Re-assembling China’s Incentive Systems

By John Richardson

ON the surface, further details about decisions taken during the Third Plenum – which were released on Friday – were nothing short of stunning. They promise a “root of and branch” reform of China’s economy.

But implementation …

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China’s November Plenum: The Verdict So Far

By John Richardson

THE November Plenum is over and now the analysis has begun.

Some commentators view the formal communiqué about the plenum – which was released by the government on Tuesday – with tremendous enthusiasm.

Others, however, are disappointed, …

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Bio-based Local Ethylene Plants A Good Alternative

By John Richardson

THE proven approach for success in petrochemicals is, of course, to find cheap feedstocks somewhere and build a world-scale cracker complex.

That “somewhere” doesn’t necessarily have to be close to the final customers in emerging markets. For …

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China’s Demographics: What Is Your Contingency Plan?

By John Richardson

DEMOGRAPHICS shape demand – everywhere, including in China, as we have been discussing since 2011.

Here are a few facts about China’s demographics challenge – from this outstanding Financial Times article by David Pilling – which chemicals …

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China’s Overshadowing Economic Importance

By John Richardson

AS we head into this weekend’s crucial November plenum , it is worth remembering that there is no chemicals and polymers market to compare with China’s in volume terms anywhere else in Asia.

Take polyproplyene (PP) as …

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European Chemicals: Rescue Efforts Continue

By John Richardson

THE battle to save the European chemicals industry from widespread plant closures  is wider than just at the Grangemouth complex in Scotland, the UK

In Holland, for example, the Dutch chemicals industry trade body – Vereniging van …

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