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The World Is Turning Upside Down

By John Richardson

A COMMON view is that Asia’s petrochemicals markets are merely suffering from a temporary destocking phrase, driven by the collapse in crude-oil prices.

So when crude oil prices settle down, everything will be fine.

Many people also …

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The Philippines: What A Fantastic Opportunity

By John Richardson

The Philippines is in a demographic sweet spot, according to the CIA factbook. In 2013, for instance, 34% of the population was aged between 0-14 and 19.1 was aged between 15-24.

This is potentially fantastic news if …

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China: GDP And Forgetting What You Already Know

By John Richardson

THE blog has a terrible confession to make: We sometimes get it very badly wrong. How’s that for modesty?

A couple of months ago we got it very badly wrong when we kept waffling on and on, …

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China Reforms: The Global Implications

By John Richardson

IT can feel logical to assume that the fundamentals of the petrochemicals business in Asia haven’t really changed.

When you think about it, apart from a brief interruption in the region’s success story during the Asian Financial …

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“Fragile Five” Now “The Exposed Eight”

By John Richardson

IT used to be just the “Fragile Five” – Brazil, India, Indonesia, South Africa and Turkey.

But last week, the Financial Times, drawing on data and analysis from Schroders, added three more countries to the list of …

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The WTO “Bali” Deal Versus ASEAN Priorities

By John Richardson

WHY sacrifice national or regional growth for the sake of freer global trade?

This is a question the blog has been asking itself since the breakthrough last week at the World Trade Organisation (WTO) talks in Bali. …

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Less Rather Than More Petchems Free Trade

By John Richardson

A LOT of the talk at this year’s GPCA conference in Dubai was of the need for more free trade in petrochemicals.

There seems to be a risk that as more countries develop refinery and petrochemicals businesses, …

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Australia: Nice Work If You Were Able To Get It

By John Richardson

BACK in the late 1990s, the blog held a discussion with an Australian petrochemicals industry executive. He described his country’s approach to free trade, or rather the lack of it, as “to put it politely, naïve, and …

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The Hedgehog And The Fox

By John Richardson

Are there more hedgehogs in the chemicals industry than foxes? This thought came to the blog after meetings with industry executives this week during its latest visit to Singapore.

Bear with us and we will, we promise, …

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Asia Ex-China: The Outlook For 2014 And Beyond

By John Richardson

IN a special series of blog posts over the next few weeks we will re-examine the outlook for the major Asian petrochemical producing countries, ex-China. The posts won’t necessarily appear every day, as important news events may …

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