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Bahrain seeks to boost investment in plastics.

MANAMA: More than 1,000 plastic industry specialists and investors from Bahrain are expected to attend Arabplast 2013 in Dubai.

The 11th edition of one of the world's biggest plastic industry exhibitions will be held from January 7 to 10.

"In a move similar to its strategy that led to the financial sector boom in early nineties, Bahrain is investing in the production of plastic polymers to cater to the annual plastic consumption growth in the Gulf," according to the organisers of Arabplast 2013.

Organisers of the show said that a large number of Bahraini investors, including banks, manufacturers and funding companies, are investing in the rapidly growing GCC polymers industry.

"Bahrain is increasing its share of the production of petrochemicals which is becoming a key driver of the kingdom's economy and which enhances its economy diversification drive," said event joint organiser Al Fajer Information and Services general manager Satish Khanna.

"Even though just 20 per cent of the GCC petrochemical products are plastics, they account for 70pc in terms of value.

"It had become a well-known fact that the region will emerge as the second highest per capita consumer of plastics in the world by 2020.

"As organisers of the biggest plastic trade fair for the Middle East and North Africa region, we urge GCC governments to encourage the public and private sectors to increase the production of plastic polymers.

"We need to be ready from now for the rapidly increasing per capita consumer figures in the GCC," he said.

"The petrochemical industry is the backbone of industrial development in Bahrain and plays a pivotal role in the kingdom's economy," he added.

"The industry has contributed to creating new downstream industries in Bahrain such as chemicals, detergent, paint, medical and industrial gases, plastics, synthetic sponges, glass and heat insulators.

"All these form a major part of an industrial sector that is attracting private sector investors due to lower investment and high profitability," he said.

Gulf Petrochemicals and Chemicals Association said in a report earlier that annual plastic consumption in the GCC would grow by 22pc from 3.3 million tonnes in 2011 to 5.5m tonnes in 2015.

Arabplast 2013 will be 34pc bigger than the 2011 edition, following record number of exhibitors and sponsors.

The event will have some 26,000 trade visitors from 107 countries.

"The growth of this show reflects the high global demand for plastics and its raw materials as well as machinery products," Mr Khanna said.

"The Gulf is the export hub of plastics raw material to the world and Bahrain is playing a key role in sustaining the position of the Gulf as a pillar in the production of plastics in the world," he added.

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Publication:Gulf Daily News (Manama, Bahrain)
Geographic Code:7BAHR
Date:Nov 21, 2012
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