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Year End Message from the GPCA Secretariat

Dear Members,
Season’s greetings from Dubai! The year 2014 has been a productive and eventful one at GPCA, as I hope it has also been for you. I would like to take this opportunity to look back to the start of the year and see how GPCA has performed so far.

At the end of 2014, total membership of GPCA stands at 240 compared to just over 60 members when we launched in 2006. The continued growth of our association indicates that with your support we have steered the regional chemical industry towards a whole new level of collaboration for our common interests.

During our Annual General Meeting (AGM) and All GPCA Committees Meeting in March this year, we welcomed the new committee members, who have, in the course of the year, already made significant progress in reinforcing the three main pillars of GPCA: Networking, Thought Leadership and Advocacy.

An international outlook

Through our active membership of the International Council of Chemical Associations (ICCA), GPCA continued to add to its global positioning as the voice of the chemical industry for the Arabian Gulf region. Our full membership of ICCA enables GPCA to increase its leverage in international policy debates and contribute to the formulation of the global policy agenda. GPCA hosted members of the ICCA Chemical Policy & Health Leadership Group in April and co-organized a two day workshop with the ICCA Communications Leadership Group for lead communicators from its member companies on ‘Telling the Chemical Industry Story’ in October. We also hosted in Dubai on November the first General Assembly Meeting of the World Plastics Council.

On an international level, GPCA spearheaded advocating the industry’s stance on free trade and successfully achieved the suspension of import duties and other trade barriers on a number of occasions, helping our members save more than US$ 100 million, annually.

Networking

GPCA’s events and workshops are evidence of the networking and knowledge sharing opportunities that GPCA provides for industry members and stakeholders. The flagship of which is the GPCA Annual Forum. This year’s Forum, our ninth, welcomed a star line up of speakers and a record breaking number of over 2,000 industry leaders attending the conference.

Recognizing the importance of driving innovation in advancing our industry forward, we organized the inaugural Research & Innovation Summit in March, providing a regional platform to advocate the crucial need for the GCC’s chemical industry to focus on the developing innovations capabilities.

We also organized a successful 5th edition of GPCA PlastiCon; the 6th edition of the GPCA Supply Chain Conference and the 5th edition of the GPCA Fertilizer Convention. Finally, GPCA organized in October the 2nd edition of its Sustainability Conference, where we launched the first ever Sustainability Report for the industry in the region and presented our second Responsible Care Performance Metrics Report.

In total, a staggering 3,421 delegates attended our six calendar events. I would like to extend my profound appreciation to those of you that have made it possible for future talent to attend these events, by sponsoring a total of 81 students, who attended our events last year.

Workshops organized by GPCA this year include the Chemical Supply Chain Security workshop in association with Sandia National Lab; a workshop on Capacity Building organized by the Responsible Care Committee; a landmark workshop on Intellectual Property Awareness organized by the R&I Committee; and the Climate Change workshop which took place earlier this month, as a forerunner to the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP 21) in 2015.

Thought leadership

GPCA continued its drive to emerge as the information clearing house for the regional industry through the expansion of its comprehensive database for the regional industry from a timespan and product coverage perspective.

Our thought leadership capabilities were further enhanced in 2013 through the production of 12 key industry publications in English and six in Arabic. These publications are available in the Online Library on the GPCA website, which underwent a facelift this year and is now available in both English and Arabic. We also published the 2013 editions of our membership Directory ‘Connecting the Gulf’ and ‘Facts & Figures’, the 30th edition of our Insight Newsletter and the 3rd edition of Gulf Plastics and our in the process of launching our improved product database by year end.

Advocacy

Recognizing that innovation is a key factor in achieving sustainable growth, GPCA’s continued sponsorship of the Plastics Excellence Awards is further evidence of the way that GPCA seeks to advocate the development of globally competitive downstream industries in our region.

Another example of our commitment to international best practice is the launch of the Gulf Sustainability & Quality Assessment System (SQAS) program to Logistics Service Providers (LSPs) in the GCC this year. The first of four modules, Transport Services, was launched in August and we have trained 14 Regional Assessors to build our capabilities in the region. The 2014 edition of our Waste Free Environment campaign, which promotes recycling and encourages a more responsible attitude towards litter disposal, signaled a growth both in plastic collection and participation. Over 5,000 participants, more than double the number of 2013, joined forces in nine cities across the GCC to clean up the coast lines and desert areas of their cities. In all, they collected more than 11.7 tons in one day. Waste collected over a week in three villages in Sohar, Oman, was recorded at 500 tons. All in all, I can say that 2014 has been a successful year for GPCA. Its success is due to the collective efforts and commitments of you as members and partners as well as the confidence in us by our many stakeholders. I wish to thank the Members of the Board for their guidance and support and record my appreciation to all of you. I also acknowledge the dedication and hardwork of the GPCA Secretariat staff and wish to thank them very much as well.

Looking forward

2015 will be a significant and special year for us, in which we will host the 10th edition of our Annual GPCA Forum in November, which will start the celebrations of GPCA’s landmark 10th
anniversary year. A key year therefore, and not only because of our anniversary celebrations, but also because it will see our organization move to our new home in Vision Tower in Business Bay, Dubai.

I wish you all a happy and prosperous New Year and look forward to another year of close cooperation.

Sincerely

Abdulwahab Al-Sadoun

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