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Asian Chemical Connections

Asia’s Ageing Populations: Challenges And Opportunities

By John Richardson EVERYONE should know by now that China faces a demographic crisis that, unless addressed, guarantees much lower GDP growth for many years to come. This explains the urgency of economic reforms designed to escape the “middle income trap”. But here are some disturbing statistics from the Asian Development Bank about other countries in […]

The New Global Financial Crisis: Emerging Market Bonds

By John Richardson EXACTLY how the new global financial crisis will gather momentum is becoming clearer by the day. Greatly adding to this clarity was the latest Bank for International Settlements (BIS) quarterly report, which was released earlier this week. The BIS warned that: Off-shore lending in US dollars had soared to $9 trillion, and, […]

Global Polyethylene: A Painful Balancing Act

By John Richardson HERE are a few important facts about polyethylene (PE): China accounted for 30%, or 2.35m tonnes , of global imports of linear low-density PE (LLDPE) in 2013 (see the above chart). It accounted for 43% of high-density (HDPE) imports. This represented 4.73m tonnes of shipments to China. And in the case of […]

Malaysia: All That Glitters Is Not Gold

By John Richardson ANYONE who visits Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia’s capital city, might well come away with the impression that everything is well with the country. The hotels are heaving as are the restaurants,  bars and shopping centres. So are the stalls on Petaling Street where, remarkably, it is possible to buy a luxury, top-of-the range […]

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 crisis in 1997-1998, everything has been pretty much plain sailing. And in retrospect, the severity […]

The Petronas Decision And Singapore

By John Richardson THE blog continues to ponder the significance of the Petronas announcement that it is to go ahead with its $27bn refinery-petrochemicals project – the Pengerang Integrated Complex (PIC) at Johor in Malaysia. “It means that Singapore faces a competitor with deep pockets. Time to assess the winners and losers on Singapore’s Jurong […]

Poverty Alleviation Matters More Than GDP

By John Richardson RICH people, relatively speaking, don’t buy that many chemicals and polymers – hence, poverty reduction matters from a dollars and cents as well as a moral perspective. Thus, a report released this week by the Asian Development Bank, Support for Inclusive Growth, makes for very disturbing reading. David Pilling from the FT, […]

China Targets Trade Finance

By John Richardson AT the high inflation point of any financial bubble, you tend to get outlandishly dangerous and dodgy practices designed to make even more money because most people think that “this time will be different” – i.e. that the drunken party will go on forever.  The US sub-prime disaster is, of course, a […]

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