MIDDLE EAST: GCC chemical industry’s performance improved
The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) chemical industry’s performance has improved on all fronts, including in revenue, employment, production capacity and export, marking a key step in its journey towards transformation, according to an industry report. This was revealed in the annual Gulf Petrochemicals and Chemicals Association (GPCA), Facts and Figures report, which was released during the 13th Annual GPCA Forum which launched on Tuesday (27 November 2018), and will conclude on Wednesday (28 November 2018), in Dubai, Emirates News Agency (WAM) reported.
The report’s findings reflect on this year’s forum theme ‘Executing Transformation and Investing in Growth’. Dr. Abdulwahab Al Sadoun, Secretary-General of GPCA, announced that production capacity in 2017 reached 166.8 million tons, up by seven per cent year over year (YoY), with expectations of further growth in 2018 to 170.9 million tons. GCC overseas production capacity reached 18.6 million tons with facilities in North America, Europe and Asia.
The GCC chemical industry’s revenue grew by 17 per cent YoY in 2017, reaching USD 84.2 billion, the fastest rate since 2011, indicating the industry’s move towards higher value products. Saudi Arabia and the UAE significantly lifted the region posting 19 per cent and 17 per cent increase in revenue respectively. Supported by the upturn in global demand growth and higher commodity prices during the same year, GCC chemicals trade rebounded significantly, generating USD 55.6 billion in revenue in 2017. In volume terms, chemicals export reached 70.3 million tons.
"In keeping with this year’s forum theme of ‘transformation’ the GCC chemical industry is reaching new milestones in both the short and long-term projections. With 20 new products to be added over the next 10 years, the chemical sector will be integral to the region’s diversification efforts and the creation of new industries as regional governments aspire to construct competitive economies that are diversified away from hydrocarbons," Dr. Al Sadoun said. "The current trend strongly indicates that GCC players are increasingly investing in growth outside the region and this is impacting positively on their competitiveness in the international arena," he added.
The chemical sector is one of the leading sources of direct and indirect employment in the GCC, accounts for 3 per cent of total employment in the region. The industry supports up to 880,000 direct, indirect and induced jobs, i.e. for every job created in the chemical industry, five new jobs are stimulated elsewhere in the economy. The chemical industry has also proved to be a leader for the integration of national citizens within the private sector, with GPCA member companies boasting a high nationalization rate of 58 per cent in total workforce.
Source: Bahrain News Agency, Manama; 28 Nov 2018
(Syed Rashid Ali, Karachi, Pakistan)