SAUDI ARABIA: Boost for Saudi PET exports: EC drops anti-dumping and subsidy cases

"The European Commission has accepted a request to withdraw the cases filed by companies through the Association of Product Manufacturers in Europe after having discovered the two cases do not harm the interests of the European Union,” the Saudi Press Agency quoted the prince as saying.

Prince Abdul Aziz, who is head of the Saudi team dealing with anti-dumping and subsidy cases, said the two cases were filed against the Kingdom's polyethylene terephthalate (PET) exports.

The European Commission opened two investigations simultaneously in mid-February after the association filed the cases.

He said a royal decree was issued to form a team under the chairmanship of the Ministry of Petroleum and Mineral Resources to deal with anti-dumping cases against Saudi petrochemical exports in different countries as the Kingdom gives utmost importance to the petrochemical industry that contributes heavily to its diversification drive and helps attracts foreign investment.

The team that includes representatives from the ministries of foreign affairs, commerce and industry, and finance, had taken necessary measures to handle the two cases in Europe, resorting the help of experts in different Saudi ministries including the Ministry of Economy and Planning and the Ministry of Water and Electricity as well as other government agencies and international consultancy offices.

Prince Abdul Aziz said the team contacted the European Commission and the governments of the European Union to clarify the Kingdom's position concerning these issues.

"We have told that the support given by the Saudi government to its industries goes in line with World Trade Organization's regulations as well as the agreement reached with EU during negotiations to win the Kingdom's admission to the WTO,” he pointed out.

Prince Abdul Aziz also asserted that SABIC's trade practices in Europe could not be considered as dumping.

He thanked EU governments and European companies working in Saudi Arabia for their understanding and support to the Kingdom's stand.

He also expressed his appreciation of the support given by Petroleum and Mineral Resources Minister Ali Al-Naimi as well as government agencies and the Saudi Export Development Center.

The EC had earlier published a notice of anti-subsidy proceeding concerning imports of certain PET.
The polymer is used mainly for packaging of soft drinks and mineral water bottles, although it also has other uses.

The PET market of the EU is estimated to be worth $4.1 billion annually.

Source: Daily "Arab News", Riyadh; 20 Dec 2011

(Syed Rashid Ali, Karachi, Pakistan)