Import tariffs removal on top 10 exported GCC chemical products could earn the region $747mn based on 2021 trade figures, the Gulf Petrochemical and Chemicals Association has said in a report.
This underlines the importance of Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) as a hugely beneficial instrument to increase the competitiveness of the GCC chemical industry and drive higher socio-economic benefits for the region, it said.
The chemical industry is the third largest source of emissions in the industrial sector and contributes 14% of total industrial CO2 emissions, according to a white paper developed by GPCA and dss+ due to be released shortly.
The paper also highlights that the industry is central to the achievement of net-zero ambitions, as its products contribute to emissions reduction in other industries. True net-zero transformation cannot be achieved in isolation without the involvement of external stakeholders such as policy makers, suppliers, customers and financial institutes, the paper argues.
Senior industry leaders from the six GCC states convened at the third edition of the GPCA Leaders Forum to discuss the industry’s priorities in 2023 and beyond.
The event concluded in Muscat under the theme, ‘Bracing for change: GCC chemicals in 2023 & beyond’ with 78 leaders from nine countries in attendance.
“The petrochemical and chemical industries have an important role to play in supporting the circular economy. This means developing products that are recyclable, reducing waste and emissions, and exploring new ways to use waste streams as raw materials,” noted Hilal Kharusi, chief executive, Commercial & Downstream, OQ at Oman.
Opening the forum, Kharusi highlighted the importance of carbon neutrality. “We must embrace the energy transition and look for ways to make our operations more sustainable. This means exploring new technologies, such as carbon capture and utilisation, investing in renewable energy sources, and innovation,” he said.
Delegates enjoyed an array of insightful presentations from senior industry experts on pertinent topics, including the looming macro-economic outlook for 2023 and its expected impact on the chemical industry, delivered by Rachid Majiti, senior partner, McKinsey, as well as two leadership dialogues on international trade and the transition to net-zero.