Press releases

 GPCA’s Facts and Figures report highlights the industry’s transformation efforts and growth on the occasion of the 13th Annual GPCA Forum

Dubai, United Arab Emirates, 27.11.2018 – The 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.

This is according to the annual GPCA Facts and Figures report, which was released during the 13th Annual GPCA Forum held on 26-28 November at the Madinat Jumeirah, Dubai. The report’s findings reflect on this year’s forum theme ‘Executing Transformation and Investing in Growth.’

During the forum, Dr. Abdulwahab Al-Sadoun, Secretary General of the Gulf Petrochemicals and Chemicals Association (GPCA), announced that production capacity in 2017 reached 166.8 million tons, up by 7% 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% 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 United Arab Emirates (UAE) significantly lifted the region posting 19% and 17% 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 ten 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,” said Dr. Sadoun.

“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% 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% in total workforce.

GPCA continues to lead the industry’s efforts in this regard by hosting the 9th edition of Leaders of Tomorrow on 26 November at the Annual GPCA Forum in Dubai. In total 140 STEM students from universities across the six GCC states were sponsored by 14 GPCA member companies to attend the forum and network with senior industry executives. The GPCA Leaders of Tomorrow program places strong emphasis on the chemical sector and the impact it has as a leading source of direct and indirect employment in the GCC region, consequently, empowering future talent.

Expressing his satisfaction at the manner, in which the chemical sector is preparing itself for the next major leap forward, Dr. Al Sadoun concluded, “We realize our responsibility not just as leaders in the industry but also as a major employer in the region and for the integral socio-economic impact we create. Our sector will continue to be a key driver for economic diversification and job creation moving forward.”