GPCA plastics summit to focus on growth
Dubai, March 5, 2012
Opportunities for GCC-based plastics producers to expand in regional and global markets will top the agenda at the upcoming third Gulf Petrochemicals and Chemicals Association (GPCA) Plastics Summit in Dubai.
The Gulf’s most forward-thinking companies in the plastics conversion sector will also be recognized in the second annual edition of the GPCA Innovation Awards, held alongside the event.
Dr Abdulwahab Al-Sadoun, secretary general of GPCA, said: “The Gulf’s plastics conversion industry is a pillar of the regional economy, providing jobs and increasing the value of our most important export: oil and gas.”
“The third GPCA Plastics Summit will bring together some of the region’s biggest companies to debate the best approaches to unlock business opportunities in international and emerging markets, and the need for innovation and advanced technology in order to maintain the competitiveness and innovation of regional manufacturers in an increasingly global marketplace.”
Despite the challenging global economic climate, the outlook for regional producers of plastics remains bright, with the annual consumption of resins, the raw materials for everyday products millions take for granted, expected to grow 50 per cent, from 3.6 million tonnes to 5.4 million tonnes, over the next five years.
Heavy demand for consumer packaging and plastics for use in the real estate and construction sector is driving the expansion, accounting for 70 per cent of the total output of the roughly 1,200 companies manufacturing finished and semi-finished plastic goods in the Gulf.
Dr Al-Sadoun said: “More resins consumption within the region is a positive sign for the emergence of Gulf-based expertise in plastics conversion, and good news for skills development and jobs.”
“It shows that more local manufacturing is taking root in the region and that GCC plastics exporters are increasingly harnessing the cost efficiency and location advantages of the Middle East in serving overseas markets.”
“The summit will devote special sessions to the twin industry drivers of packaging and construction, delivered by internationally respected authorities. The programme will also begin with a half-day ‘market seminar’, examining potential openings for Gulf-based plastic converters in various industry verticals and geographies, including Mena, Asia and Europe.”
Between now and 2015, annual resins production in the Gulf will jump more than 73 per cent, from 13.6 million tonnes to 23.6 million tonnes, with Saudi Arabia alone bringing 5 million tonnes of extra annual output on stream.
The Kingdom’s share of the total output is expected to drop from 75 per cent to 66 per cent by 2015 as Abu Dhabi’s ramps up its own capacity, from 3 million tonnes to 4.2 million tonnes per annum, representing a compound annual growth of 71 per cent, the highest in the region.
By 2015, the emirate will represent 18 per cent of the Gulf’s total resins production, doubling from around 8 per cent today.
“Access to more raw materials is crucial to a growing industry but product innovation will be equally critical to the development of high-value products and services in plastics,” Dr Al-Sadoun said.
“That’s why the Plastics Summit in April will once again be hosting the GPCA innovation awards, to promote the wider adoption of new technology and original manufacturing techniques in the plastics conversion industry, and encourage the modernization of local firms, many of which remain small-sized, family-run concerns.”
The 2012 GPCA Innovation Awards feature three main categories: plastic packaging and consumer goods; construction and industrial products; and sustainable plastic products and processes.
Two additional awards will be made for ‘Best Support’, recognizing ancillary companies and service providers, and ‘Talents in Plastic’, which rewards outstanding individual and team contributions to the conversion industry.
All entries will be evaluated by an independent jury of regional and international plastics experts drawn from outside the conversion sector. The deadline for entries is March 15.
Held on the theme ‘Plastics conversion: growth opportunities in challenging markets’, the third GPCA Plastics Summit runs from April 3 to 5 at the Grand Hyatt Dubai. – TradeArabia News Service