$3bn of plastics machinery sold at Arabplast show
Demand for plastic in the GCC region is 33% higher than world average
Machinery worth $3bn was sold at the Arabplast 2013 event, held over four days in Dubai, according to the show's organisers.
Around 30,000 visitors attended over four days, and Satish Khanna, general manager of Al Fajer Information & Services, said that the numbers reflected the rapid increase of plastic consumption in the Middle East.
Per capita consumption of plastics in the Gulf Cooperation Council countries is 39kg annually, 33% higher than the world average and almost eight times higher than India, said Khanna.
This figure compares with consumption in North America of 90kg per capita, 65kg in Western Europe, 12kg in China, 5kg in India, and 18kg in Latin America.
According to Khanna, the construction industry may be part of the reason why the Middle East consumes a high level of plastics.
"Plastics [are] used heavily in infrastructure and this explains the rapidly increasing consumption amongst individuals and corporate alike.
"Events like World Cup Doha 2022 are boosting this consumption," said Khanna.
Many plastics are produced domestically, due to the availability of petrochemical raw material in the region.
"The Gulf States command an 11% share of the $600bn global petrochemical industry. Gulf States could develop a domestic market for consuming their petrochemicals instead of exporting it to almost all other countries in the world," said Khanna.
"Plastics and petrochemical companies in the GCC are equipping their factories with latest technologies and machineries to increase their production capacities. This is where these multi-billion deals at the show were generated."