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ChemOrbis 6th Asia Petrochemical Conference: rising middle class to boost ASEAN chemical sector

by ChemOrbis Editorial Team -
  • 10/06/2015 (18:07)
ChemOrbis 6th Annual Asia Petrochemical conference, held at Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre in Malaysia on 10th June, opened with a presentation from Mr. Akbar Md. Thayoob, CEO of Petronas Chemicals Marketing (Labuan) regarding the challenges and opportunities facing the petrochemical industry in ASEAN. The speaker highlighted that in the span of one year, the petrochemical industry has observed a dramatic change due to the collapse in oil prices, natural gas prices and naphtha prices.    

With regards to the challenges facing the petrochemical industry in ASEAN, the speaker brought up a few challenges such as rising costs of production, declining competitive feedstock supply, a lack of human talent, a lack of developed energy and also potential health, safety and environment issues.

For opportunities on the other hand, Mr. Akbar stated that by 2050, it is predicted that the global population will grow from 7.2 billion to 10 billion, with less developed countries with Asia housing 60% of the global population. This could lead to the Asian middle class growing up to 5 billion people in 2030 with higher disposable incomes. As a result, we should be able to witness higher consumer spending and higher demand for key polymer consuming industries such as home building, automobiles and personal care products.
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