International Plastics News for Asia

The Middle East and Africa in 2014

Every year, Ringier Trade Media Ltd, in its various verticals and print publications bring readers a special report called Outlook 2014. The report gathers the insights of key industry players and professionals on the trends and developments in the industry in the coming year. 

The November issue of the International Plastics News - Middle East & Africa carries the Outlook 2014 reports for both plastic and rubber.  The Middle East and Africa regions continue to receive favourable projections, a sign of stability and continuous confidence on these regions’ ability to achieve groawth despite the many challenges the global economy faces.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) raised its forecast for the oil-rich six Gulf Arab countries to 4.4% in 2014, up from the earlier projection of 3.78%, as it expects the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) to remain one of the most dynamic and top performing economies. The GCC comprises of Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE).Oil and gas receipts represent the bulk of their revenues. The IMF also recognises the strong contribution of the GCC to the global economy and overall world industrial growth.

As a result, major industries in the Middle East are expected to demonstrate highe rthan- expected performance in 2014. In particular, the plastics industry in the Middle East will continue being a major contributor to industrial expansion given the anticipated rise in the production volume for chemicals and other raw materials, as well as increased demand for new technologies, machinery, tools and components as local manufacturers step up their production output.

Africa is poised to take off as an industrial giant with growth driven by investment inflows, rising production output and expanding international trade. The IMF even predicts sub-Saharan Africa to post 6% growth in 2014. Contributing to Africa’s growth are South Africa and the emerging economies of Nigeria, Mozambique, Ethiopia and Kenya. Nigeria’s economy is expected to grow by 7% in 2014; Mozambique by 8%; Ethiopia by 6.9%; and Kenya at 5.2%.The continent’s rapidly growing plastics industry is attracting an increasing number of international companies into this lucrative new market. Estimates show that the demand for plastic packaging in Africa has been growing by around 8%, higher than in Western Europe. South Africa’s booming plastics production leads the region, but growing demand has been noted in other African countries due to rising infrastructure, energy, telecommunications and manufacturing activities.