Large global petrochemical players such as China's Sopo International Ltd and Turkey's Bayegan Dis Tic AS (BDTA) are keen to explore opportunities to expand their businesses in Malaysia as they look to widen market reach in South-East Asia.
Sopo president Li Xang told The Malaysian Reserve recently that he sees great potential in the Malaysian market. "We expect to deliver more products to the Malaysian market, and we are keen to meet more customers here," he said, adding that the company exports extensively to markets such as Europe, India and South-East Asia.
Sopo is the world's largest maker of acetic acid at 1.4 million metric tonnes per year and eta acetate at 500,000 metric tonnes per year. It exports about 18,000 metric tonnes of eta acetate a year to Malaysia and Singapore and there is potential to scale this up.
BDTA vice president Ruya Bayegan, who was also in Kuala Lumpur for the the Asian Petrochemical Industry Conference 2012 (APIC 2012) held recently, said the global petrochemical trading company was looking for the right companies to partner with as it widens its reach in South-East Asia.
BDTA, a trader of oil and its derivatives, polymer and chemical products as well as metals, among others, has 23 international offices with key markets in Turkey, Russia and China.
"This part of South-East Asia is our next target," she told The Malaysian Reserve.
She said demand in India was also on the rise while countries like Indonesia, Vietnam and the Philippines hold much growth potential.
The company was looking to secure partners who could help it gain access to these markets, she added.
She said BDTA was also keen on sales partnerships with Malaysian companies and was currently exploring the option, with an announcement to follow once a concrete deal is reached.
Malaysia and Turkey have always shared strong bilateral ties and if there is opportunity to build upon further synergy, she said, adding that BDTA would be happy to cooperate.
The company announced last month that it was setting up a US$1 billion (RM3.19 billion) polypropylene facility in Turkey and it was conducting feasibility studies on other similar ventures within Turkey first.
Both Li and Bayegan said the APIC 2012 was an excellent platform for petrochemical industry players to tap new opportunities in the region especially given that Asia is the current market where demand for petrochemical products continue to grow.
The conference, which is held in a different Asian country every year, was hosted in Kuala Lumpur from May 17-18 by the Malaysian Petrochemical Association for the second time since 2002.
Petronas Chemicals Group Bhd chief executive officer Dr Hapiz Abdullah, who is also the president of the Chemical Industry Council of Malaysia, said the conference attracted 1,400 participants from 37 countries worldwide and acted as a good platform to foster collaborations and networking opportunities with industry players.
He said it was beneficial to Malaysian petrochemical industry players as they were able to link up with other players from North Asia and the rest of the world.
APIC 2013 will be held in Taiwan from May 9-10, 2013, he said.
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