Gulf petrochemicals producers are rapidly expanding capacity, but at the same time they are also increasingly looking to encourage demand for their products in-country. As they seek to expand export markets, the Middle East’s petrochemicals giants are now also trying to support growth of downstream demand in industrial centers located near major petrochemicals plants. This drive reflects governments’ plans to maximize revenues from hydrocarbon resources and diversify their economies.

The organizers of last week’s Arabplast 2013 exhibition in Dubai told reporters on 6 January that global plastics demand is expected to grow from 260mn tons in 2007 to 365mn tons in 2015 and then eventually to 540mn tons in 2020. By 2020 plastics consumption among Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries will account for 8% of total demand, compared with 25% for North America and Europe and 37% for the Asia-Pacific region. (CONTINUED - 607 WORDS)