The forum provides a platform for young professionals in the region to participate in and shape a more sustainable future for the chemical and petrochemical industry
Doha, Qatar, 12 December 2023 – The 2nd edition of the Gulf Petrochemicals and Chemicals Association (GPCA) Youth Forum welcomed over 400 young professionals and students from 4-6 December 2023 to participate in and shape a more sustainable future for the chemical and petrochemical industry in the Arabian Gulf region. Held as part of the 17th Annual GPCA Forum, GPCA’s flagship event, the 2nd edition of the GPCA Youth Forum took place at Qatar National Convention Center, Doha, under the theme ‘Empowering Youth for a Sustainable Future’.
Youth development and empowerment are a central pillar in the National Development Visions of all GCC countries. With long-standing objectives of workforce nationalization and providing 226,200 chemical related jobs in 2022 alone, the GCC chemical industry plays a pivotal role in attracting and developing young talent. To advance this objective with the support of GPCA members, the GPCA Youth Forum was launched in 2022 to create important awareness about the chemical industry and provide a holistic networking experience for attendees by bridging the gap between industry leaders and young professionals. Led by the GPCA Youth Council, comprising 37 young working professionals from 18 GPCA member companies across the Arabian Gulf, this is a unique event for students and young professionals looking to expand their knowledge in the chemical industry in the region.
Delivering the Welcome remarks on the first day of the event Nadia Al Hajji, CEO, PIC, inspired delegates by praising the youth for holding the key for a more sustainable future. Speaking to GPCA Insight ahead of the forum, she said: “The youth in the GCC region have a critical role to play in shaping the future of the petrochemical industry. Young professionals often bring fresh perspectives and are typically more adept at embracing new technologies and innovative processes. They are more environmentally conscious and can lead initiatives in renewable energy integration and carbon footprint reduction in petrochemical processes. Young professionals often have a global mindset, enabling them to foster international collaborations, which are vital in an interconnected global industry, like petrochemicals.”
Mutaz Essa Barshim, a Qatari track and field athlete and World Champion, shared with attendees his inspiring story of perseverance and success. The program continued with a GPCA Youth Majlis, featuring a panel discussion on unlocking the potential of human capital for the sustainable future of the chemical industry. A CEO panel saw esteemed regional industry leaders including Dr. Mohammed Al-Mulla, Managing Director and CEO, QAPCO; Hazeem Al Suwaidi, CEO, Borouge; Eng. Yasser Al-Abbasi, CEO, GPIC; and Hilal Al Kharusi, Chief Executive, Commercial and Downstream, OQ, share their perspective on the role of youth in driving the sustainability agenda forward.
The forum continued with a debate session, which provided an opportunity for the youth to challenge industry leaders Naser Aldousari, President and CEO, EQUATE, and Abdulrahman A. Shamsaddin, CEO, SABIC Agri-Nutrients, on the young generation’s role in reaching sustainability and digitalization targets.
The forum continued on Day 2, with a brand-new segment – GPCA Youth Speak – which included inspirational presentations from regional youth icons Omar Al Ghailani, World Champion Athlete and Diver; Maryam Al Mansoori, General Manager, Rebound; and Professor Mariam Al-Ali Al-Maadeed, VP for Research and Graduate Studies, Qatar University. The 3rd day of the forum, 6 December, featured GPCA Speed Mentorship with more than 30 industry leaders including CEOs and consultant professionals, who joined the youth for mentorship sessions.
Dr. Abdulwahab Al-Sadoun, Secretary General, GPCA, commented: “GPCA’s advocacy efforts on talent development in the region have reached a pinnacle this year, with the culmination of the 2nd GPCA Youth Forum, the region’s first such event, which provides exclusive opportunities to young professionals to network, exchange knowledge and contribute to shaping the chemical industry’s future alongside senior industry leaders. What makes the forum’s format truly unique is the fact that it is led by the youth, for the youth, and in this way it facilitates invaluable knowledge transfer and experience for everyone involved. I sincerely hope our young delegates have found the forum beneficial this year, I thank them for their tremendous contribution, and I look forward to engaging them in future GPCA initiatives.”