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Editor's Comment: Building world-class industry standards

by Martin Menachery on Mar 26, 2018


Martin Menachery, editor, Refining & Petrochemicals Middle East.
Martin Menachery, editor, Refining & Petrochemicals Middle East.

One of the most significant developments in the GCC downstream industry during February 2018 was the signing of an MoU between the Gulf Petrochemicals and Chemicals Association (GPCA) and the Gulf Standardization Organization (GSO) on 19 February 2018 to collaborate on developing world-class standards for the chemical and petrochemical industry in the region.

While GPCA and GSO will definitely consider the existing benchmarking international standards for the chemical and petrochemical industry in the course of creating the Gulf standards, there are two important questions around the development: What would be the impact of implementing these standards on the operational efficiency of the regional downstream industry, and how the organisations are going to monitor the adherence of the industry to these yardsticks?

While the purpose of the MoU is to build strong collaboration between GPCA and GSO on technical standards and regulations, consumer protection, environment and public health, it will also pave the way for adoption of globally recognised best practices on transportation of dangerous goods, global harmonisation system, and industrial waste.

The long-term objectives of the collaboration are progress of the downstream industry in the region, boosting the intra-OIC (Organisation of Islamic Cooperation) trade, and the development of the Gulf economy, while maintaining state revenues, and contributing to the minimisation of technical hurdles to trade in line with the goals of the Gulf Common Market.

Petrochemicals are used in the production of millions of products that enable a higher standard of living, including the fertilisers that help feed us, the detergents that keep us clean, and the pharmaceuticals that keep us healthy, as well as the widely used plastics and synthetic fibres.

Hence, the world-class standards for the GCC chemical and petrochemical industry, once developed and implemented, will empower the sector to promote consumer protection, environmental sustainability and public health, and facilitate sustainable development of the industry as a prime contributor to trade and economic development of the region.


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