Railway development to fuel intra-GCC trade ,says GPCA

Railway development to fuel intra-GCC trade ,says GPCA :Trade in petrochemicals between GCC states is set for robust growth in the coming years, led by the development of the region’s rail and transport network, predicts the Gulf Petrochemicals & Chemicals Association (GPCA), the region’s longest standing trade association.

“An integrated railway network is an important catalyst in driving increased economic integration between GCC countries as it fosters the region’s development agenda,” said Dr Abdulwahah Al-Sadoun, GPCA sectary general.

“Railways will similarly have a positive effect on the intra-regional petrochemicals supply chain as it will enhance cross-border trade between the Gulf, while minimising the risk of transporting chemicals across long distances.”

The GCC petrochemicals industry is an export-oriented sector. In 2012, 60.7 million tonnes of petrochemicals produced in the Gulf were exported to diverse markets, such as China, the EU and the US.

According to GPCA estimates, only 6.2% of exports occurred within the GCC region.

“Intra-GCC chemicals trade has seen a cumulative growth of 13% over the last five years,” explained Dr Sadoun. “This is a positive development as it signifies deeper trade ties within the Gulf.”

In the medium term, intra-regional trade is set to surge following the planned expansion of the GCC railway network. “The GCC railway network will enable the region’s petrochemical companies to optimise their supply chains,” he added.

The GCC railway network is an estimated $200billion venture, and will link the six Gulf countries for the first time. The project is expected to be completed by 2018 and talks are underway to connect Jordan and Iraq once the core GCC states are linked.

Post-2020, GPCA predicts that the Gulf states will be less reliant on petrochemical imports to fulfil regional demand for a whole host of products across sectors like aviation, food and beverage, and infrastructure.

The importance of railway connectivity was a key focus at this week’s GPCA Supply Chain conference held in Dubai at the Ritz Calton, DIFC.

Railway development to fuel intra-GCC trade, says GPCA

Source : www.arabiansupplychain.com

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