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Mon 12 Oct 2009 11:14 AM

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Mideast chemical producers to fight export restrictions

Gulf Petrochemicals and Chemicals Association battle moves by China, India, EU.

An organisation representing petrochemical producers in the Middle East region on Monday launched a new challenge to alleged protectionist rules employed by China, India and the European Union against GCC exports.

Gulf Petrochemicals and Chemicals Association (GPCA) said in a statement that it was to fight what it described as protectionist measures in the garb of anti-dumping procedures.

The GPCA's statement comes in the wake of recent moves by China and India against petrochemical exporters based in Saudi Arabia and Oman.  

The organisation claimed China and India have sought to protect their domestic industries by initiating anti-dumping measures while more recently, the EU has launched anti-dumping cases against producers in the UAE and Iran.

GPCA secretary general Dr Abdulwahab Al-Sadoun said he was concerned about the potential impact of these measures on the global petrochemical and chemical industry and the downstream consumers in China and India.

"GPCA will strengthen coordination with GCC governments to ensure that exports of petrochemicals and chemicals from the Gulf region are not restricted by anti-dumping regulations and other trade restrictions," he said.

"The GCC industry and our governments will not accept the application of anti-dumping regulations against exports of petrochemicals and chemicals from the Gulf. We have seen a surge in protectionist actions brought by countries to block imports. These cases are baseless and violate international rules," Al-Sadoun added.

As part of its initiative, GPCA will investigate and recommend specific actions that should be taken against trading partners that restrict GCC petrochemical and chemical exports.

GPCA has instituted an Advocacy Committee that will adopt a system to alert members about anti-dumping cases and work closely with GCC governments and the GCC Secretariat to defend the regional industry against such unwarranted actions, Al-Sadoun said.

In June, China's Ministry of Commerce initiated an anti-dumping investigation with respect to imports of methanol and butanediol (BDO) from Saudi Arabia, New Zealand, Malaysia and Indonesia.

The GPCA said India's chemical industry has levied a provisional anti-dumping duty on polypropylene imports from Oman, Saudi Arabia and Singapore, pending the results of investigations underway.  

In September, the EU launched anti-dumping cases against producers in the UAE and Iran, it added.