Supply chain optimization crucial for evolution of GCC petrochemicals industry

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“The Arabian Gulf region is ideally placed to capitalize on forecasted growth in Asia and Africa over the next five years, utilizing export-oriented strategies in order to flourish, said Dr. Abdulwahab Al-Sadoun, secretary-general, GPCA . “To meet this growing demand, bold steps must be taken to help drive seamless trade of goods and services throughout the region and to push forward for a GCC customs union. It is only through a coordinated and forward thinking approach that the GCC’s ambitious economic development goals for 2020 can be met.”

The GCC exported approximately 80 percent of its total product portfolio to more than 80 countries last year, amounting to 66.1 million tons of chemicals, according to GPCA estimates. As the petrochemical industry is forecast to grow by 6 percent every year by the end of this decade, with the region producing over 190 million tons of petrochemicals by 2020, exports will account for a sizable share for forthcoming capacity, says the GPCA .

Increased competition and the need for product differentiation puts new and unique pressure on supply chains in the GCC, explains Dr. Sadoun. “Infrastructures in the GCC are undergoing transformational changes, with new networks, facilities and capabilities coming online, to leverage economies of scale and meet growing demand. We must continue to finance the development of ‘hard’ infrastructure that makes up the backbone of all good supply chains, but also continue to invest in ‘soft’ infrastructure like training, education and customer service to take the GCC supply chains to the next level.”

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