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Eye of Riyadh
Eye of Riyadh
Business & Money | Saturday 28 March, 2015 4:25 pm |

SABIC at BFA 2015: Trade liberalization as a driving force for sustainable growth in Asia

SABIC reiterates commitment to China and Asia as a partner for sustainable development and inclusive growth; emphasises the criticality of continued investments in people and innovation

At the annual Boao Forum for Asia (BFA) Annual Conference 2015, the senior leadership of the world’s second largest diversified global chemical company, SABIC, contributed their thoughts and perspectives to multilateral discussions focused around this year’s theme – ‘Asia’s New Future: Towards a Community of Common Destiny’.

The SABIC delegation, led by His Highness Prince Saud bin Abdullah bin Thenayan Al-Saud, Chairman of the Royal Commission for Jubail & Yanbu and Chairman of the SABIC Board of Directors, and Yousef Abdullah Al-Benyan, Acting Chief Executive Officer, discussed how the company intends to embrace emerging opportunities, support further sustainable development and contribute to continued stability and prosperity across what is a key region for SABIC.

Alongside heads of state, government officials and global industrial and business leaders at the annual conference held in Hainan, China, SABIC shared their ideas around how the spectacular growth and development across many of Asia’s economies can be maintained. Special emphasis was given to advancing the collective thinking around how the region’s growth trajectory can be sustained while simultaneously progressing in economic development.

“As a supporter of BFA for the seventh consecutive year, SABIC takes pride in being the first Strategic Partner in the Forum’s 14-year history. The Boao Forum has rightfully earned its reputation as a leading economic forum with growing global influence. The robust discussions and commitment to a better future for all that are fostered here have played an integral role in the success story that is Asia today,” commented Prince Saud bin Abdullah bin Thenayan Al-Saud, Chairman of the Royal Commission for Jubail and Yanbu and Chairman of SABIC.

“Challenges doubtless lie ahead. Conventional thinking will not be adequate in addressing these challenges – bold, new paradigms and models are required. However, I am confident that with the right kind of cooperation and the right kind of policies – such as trade liberalization – these challenges can be overcome.”

Building a Common Destiny for Asia based on Trade Liberalization and Sustainable Development

Asia’s role in the global economy is set to grow further as countries and communities develop a heightened awareness of shared goals of inclusive and sustainable growth.

Trade flows between the nations of the Gulf region and the peoples of East and South Asia have been intensifying over the past decades. In no small part, that trade is what has propelled the growth trajectories of many of the region’s economies, accelerating the shift in global economic power towards emerging economies. Integral to continued growth however, will be a common commitment to investment in innovation for sustainable development and growing the region’s already considerable human capital.

“The right people and the right technology must also be complemented by trade liberalization, both in terms of the movement of goods and investment,” elaborated Yousef Abdullah Al-Benyan, SABIC’s Acting Chief Executive Officer. “From SABIC’s perspective, this is one of the most beneficial structural reforms emerging nations could undertake – especially between East Asia and the Middle East. As China makes a successful transition from an investment-led growth model to one driven by consumption and innovation, the freer and reliable movement of high quality goods – such as chemicals – between regions, will undoubtedly fuel further sustainable prosperity and economically benefit everyone.

“At SABIC, we are passionate about building relationships, innovation and sustainability into the DNA of our operations. In particular, our focus on sustainability is intensifying. We firmly believe that sustainability cannot be an afterthought and when we look at our products and manufacturing processes, we no longer talk about a ‘cradle-to-grave’ cycle, but rather a ‘well-to-wheel, cradle-to-cradle’ cycle, wherein every bit of value must be used for the maximum sustainable benefit of society,” concluded Al-Benyan.

A Partner for Inclusive and Sustainable Growth in Asia

Operating in Asia since the 1980s, SABIC is committed to be a partner to China and the countries of Asia to support the drive to inclusive and sustainable growth. Today SABIC contributes wherever it operates through investment, business and community partnerships and job creation. It has set up technology and innovation centres globally to bring its research closer to its markets, tapping on local talent to develop solutions tailor-made to in-country requirements.

In 2013, SABIC opened two new innovation centres in Asia with a combined initial investment of US$200 million - one in Shanghai, China and the other Bengaluru, India - bringing the total number of research facilities it has around the world to 19, of which five are in Asia including Japan & Korea. SABIC also partners local educational institutions to bring together the best of academic thinking and industry expertise in China. These projects reflect SABIC’s enduring focus on embedding innovation, ingenuity and collaboration into the company’s DNA with the single-minded goal of developing a deeper understanding of – and real-world, rooted-in-sustainability solutions to – customers’ needs.

• SABIC and brands marked with ™ are trademarks of SABIC or its subsidiaries or affiliates.
• High-resolution photos are available upon request.
• SABIC should be written in every instance in all uppercase.

Saudi Basic Industries Corporation (SABIC) ranks as the world’s second largest diversified chemical company. The company is among the world’s market leaders in the production of polyethylene, polypropylene and other advanced thermoplastics, glycols, methanol and fertilizers.

SABIC recorded a net profit of SR 23.3 billion (US$ 6.2 billion) in 2014. Sales revenues for 2014 totaled SR 188.1 billion (US$ 50.2 billion). Total assets stood at SR 340 billion (US$ 90.7 billion) at the end of 2014.

SABIC’s businesses are grouped into Chemicals, Polymers, Performance Chemicals, Fertilizers, Metals and Innovative Plastics. SABIC has significant research resources with 19 dedicated Technology & Innovation facilities in Saudi Arabia, the USA, the Netherlands, Spain, Japan, India, China and South Korea. The company operates in more than 45 countries across the world with around 40,000 employees worldwide.

SABIC manufactures on a global scale in Saudi Arabia, the Americas, Europe and Asia Pacific.

Headquartered in Riyadh, SABIC was founded in 1976 when the Saudi Arabian Government decided to use the hydrocarbon gases associated with its oil production as the principal feedstock for production of chemicals, polymers and fertilizers. The Saudi Arabian Government owns 70 percent of SABIC shares with the remaining 30 percent held by private investors in Saudi Arabia and other Gulf Cooperation Council countries.

About SABIC in Asia
Established in the 1980s, SABIC Asia has over 40 offices and close to 3000 employees across the region. With 9 manufacturing and compounding sites in China, India, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand, SABIC constantly strives to better serve our customers in the Asian region. A leading global organization in research and technology, we have two Application Centers in Moka, Japan and Sungnam, Korea and three new Technology Centers in Bengaluru, India, Shanghai, China and Suwon, South Korea. Today, Asia is SABIC’s fastest growing region globally with strong double digit growth.

About Boao Forum for Asia (BFA)
As a non-government, non-profit international organization, Boao Forum for Asia (BFA) is the most prestigious and premier forum for leaders in government, business and academia in Asia and other continents to share visions on the most pressing issues in this dynamic region and the world at large. The Forum is committed to promoting regional economic integration and bringing Asian countries even closer to their development goals, and was inaugurated in 2001.

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