Innovation earmarked for key role in driving downstream growth

Gulf Petrochemicals and Chemicals Association and Oxford Business Group to team up for new Covid-19 Response Report


Dubai, UAE: A new Covid-19 Response Report (CRR), produced by Oxford Business Group (OBG) in partnership with the Gulf Petrochemicals and Chemicals Association (GPCA), will explore the key role that innovation is set to play in adding value to the downstream energy industry and driving new growth as the region’s markets move forward with their economic diversification strategies.

Provisionally titled ‘Innovation Landscape in the GCC Petrochemical Industry’, the report will provide in-depth analysis of the sector in an easy-to-navigate and accessible format, focusing on key data and infographics relating to the region’s socio-economic landscape.

The report will chart domestic and export sales of Gulf petrochemical products in the years leading up to the outbreak of Covid-19 and assess the initial impact of the pandemic on the industry. It will then examine the policies implemented across the region aimed at helping downstream firms to tackle the challenges they faced during the crisis.

The report will also consider what the near term holds for the industry by shining a spotlight on Gulf export markets and analysing their prospects for recovery.

Other topical issues explored include the increased focus on issues relating to sustainability and environmental, social and governance (ESG) principles. Here the CRR will examine the move towards projects centred on clean technologies and fuels, as investors increasingly seek out initiatives that reflect global shifts in priorities and demands.

The report will feature several case studies in which a range of topical issues are analysed, such as how companies operating in the industry adapted to the disruption caused by Covid-19 and the changes made to their long-term strategies in the wake of the pandemic.

Subscribers will also find interviews with key stakeholders from the sector, including Dr. Abdulwahab Al-Sadoun, Secretary-General, GPCA. A digital version of the interview (Economic View) is available here: 

Commenting ahead of the signing of the MoU, Dr. Al-Sadoun said that with the international focus now on post-pandemic economic recovery, the chemical industry had a game-changing opportunity to expand its capabilities by leveraging innovation.

“The pandemic led to the acceleration of developments already under way across several sectors of the economy, which has heightened the need for the chemical industry to recognise innovation as a primary strategic business function,” he said. “We see opportunities for product and process development in several key areas, including sustainability, circular economy, recycling, decarbonisation, feedstock evolution and digitalisation.”

Jana Treeck, OBG’s Managing Director for the Middle East, said that while the region was still feeling the weight of lower oil prices and subdued demand, several of the GCC member states stood to benefit from ongoing efforts to diversify their economies.

“Attracting innovation-led investment for the petrochemicals segment will be instrumental in not only driving product development, but also strengthening ESG-related dynamics and boosting the region’s competitiveness as it positions itself for recovery and looks to bring through sectors of the economy that are ripe for growth,” Treeck said.

This new CRR will form part of a series of tailored reports which OBG is currently producing with its partners, alongside other highly relevant, go-to research tools, including a range of national and regional Growth and Recovery Outlook articles and interviews.

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About Oxford Business Group

Oxford Business Group (OBG) is a global research and advisory company with a presence in over 30 countries, spanning the Middle East, Africa, Asia and the Americas. It is recognised internationally as a distinctive and respected provider of on-the-ground intelligence on world’s fastest-growing markets, termed The Yellow Slice, in reference to OBG’s corporate colour. 

Through its range of products - Economic News and Views; OBG CEO Surveys; OBG Events and Conferences; Global Platform, which hosts exclusive video interviews; and The Report publications – as well as its Advisory division, OBG offers comprehensive and accurate analysis of macroeconomic and sector-level developments for sound investment opportunities and business decisions. 

OBG provides business intelligence to its subscribers through multiple platforms, including its direct subscribers, Dow Jones Factiva subscribers, the Bloomberg Professional Services subscribers, Refinitiv’s (previously Thomson Reuters) Eikon subscribers and more.

About Gulf Petrochemicals and Chemicals Association (GPCA)

The Gulf Petrochemicals and Chemicals Association (GPCA) was established in 2006 to represent the downstream hydrocarbon industry in the Arabian Gulf. Today, the association voices the common interests of more than 250 member companies from the chemical and allied industries, accounting for over 95 percent of chemical output in the GCC. The industry makes up the second largest manufacturing sector in the region, producing over USD 108 billion worth of products every year.

GPCA supports the petrochemical and chemical industry in the Arabian Gulf through advocacy, networking and thought leadership initiatives aimed at helping member companies to connect, share and advance knowledge, contribute to international dialogue, and become prime influencers in shaping the future of the global petrochemicals industry.

Committed to providing a regional platform for stakeholders from around the world, GPCA manages six working committees – Plastics, Supply Chain, Fertilizers, International Trade, Research and Innovation, and Responsible Care – and organizes six world-class events each year. The association also publishes an annual report, regular newsletters and various other industry reports.

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