Plastics industry 'offers huge potential for SMEs'
Sharjah, April 10, 2014
The GCC plastics industry offers a tremendous opportunity for the emergence of a dynamic small and medium enterprises (SME) sector, a major conference heard.
“Manufacturers who transform basic plastic products into finished goods represent nearly 20 per cent of the region’s plastic industry,” said Dr Abdulwahab Al-Sadoun, secretary-general of the Gulf Petrochemicals & Chemicals Association (GPCA). “These plastics converters introduce a number of additives to manufacture finished goods that suit the requirements of a diverse range of industries.”
He was speaking at the 5th International Conference for Plastic Conversion, PlastiCon 2014, that took place in the Expo Centre Sharjah recently.
According to GPCA research, the plastics conversion market comprises over 1,000 companies that can be classified as small and medium enterprises, including family owned businesses and startups.
“SMEs are today at the the forefront of business innovation in the Middle East,” continued Dr Sadoun. “SMEs involved in plastics conversion are particularly innovative as they extend the plastics supply chain by creating value-added products for the construction, infrastructure and food & beverage sectors, while creating thousands of new jobs.”
Saudi Arabia is currently spearheading this niche, representing 62pc of the GCC’s plastic conversion market. The Kingdom also leads the plastics market, producing an estimated 18.4 million tonnes, or 74pc of the region’s polymer production capacity.
The UAE is the second largest plastic converter in the GCC, after Saudi Arabia, accounting for 19pc of the total regional output. The country also ranks second in total plastics manufacturing capacity, representing 10.2pc of the region’s polymer capacity.
GPCA has predicted that, by the end of the decade, the region’s plastics conversion will grow to reach 7.5 million tons capacity, an increase of nearly 40pc of its current output.
“This growth represents a huge opportunity for the emergence of new enterprises,” explained Dr Sadoun. “Along with increased competition for the region’s major players, the rise of SMEs will be transformative as it not only represents the forefront of commercial innovation, but also the creation of thousands of jobs.” - TradeArabia News Service