MIDDLE EAST: Talent and technology key to GCC petrochemicals growth

Released during the sixth GPCA Supply Chain conference, held this week in the Ritz Carlton, DIFC, Dubai, the Chemicals Supply Chains in the Arabian Gulf: Chokepoints and Opportunities report states that chemicals companies in the Gulf must look beyond efficiency and focus on attracting talent that understands rapidly changing markets.

"Chemical producers in the GCC are well-versed in managing the challenges associated with multifaceted supply chains as this is an export oriented market,” said Dr Abdulwahab Al Sadoun, secretary general, GPCA. "The industry will continue to earn valuable export revenues as more products are added to the sector's portfolio.”

The GCC's petrochemicals industry exported 63.4 million tonnes of chemicals in 2013, according to GPCA estimates, valued at USD 55.5billion. The sector currently produces over 90 products, with the portfolio expected to expand to 160 products by 2020.

According to the report, a digital supply chain reduces costs by applying more efficient logistics, decreases purchasing costs and supplies, and eliminates obsolete inventory while strengthening customer service, reaching new consumers, and growing sales.

While the GCC petrochemical industry provides direct employment to an estimates 140,000 people, including 32 % of Gulf nationals, hiring information and analytics oriented employees will be the key to leveraging technological advantages.

"As an industry that is growing in scale, depth and reach, the GCC petrochemicals sector needs a sophisticated workforce,” concluded Dr Sadoun. "And while the technological and talent transformation will not occur overnight, the GPCA-Accenture report provides tools which the industry can use to achieve better results and realise its immense potential.”

Source: "Arabian Supply Chain", Dubai; 8 May 2014
(Syed Rashid Ali, Karachi, Pakistan)