The annual GPCA event took place on 16-17 May at Le Méridien Al Khobar, Saudi Arabia
Al Khobar, Saudi Arabia, 24 May 2023 – With the GCC region emerging as the hotbed of transformative ideas and an innovation hub, collaboration and technology adoption will be at the heart of solving the next-generation supply chain challenges, said speakers at the 14th Gulf Petrochemicals and Chemicals Association (GPCA) Supply Chain Conference, which took place from 16-17 May 2023 at Le Méridien, Al Khobar, Saudi Arabia. Attracting over 390 delegates from the region and the world, the conference addressed the theme ‘New Age Chemical Supply Chains in a Changing World’.
With a vision to transform the Arabian Gulf region into a central hub for global supply chain needs, local organizations are innovating with emerging technologies such as the Internet of Things (IoT), Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT), Blockchain and others to solve complex business issues. Off the back of this, government agencies are launching ambitious initiatives centered around these emerging technologies to be at the forefront of the next digital revolution. Supply chain organizations are increasingly deploying these technologies and collaborating with partners to build resilience and agility.
Global disruptions, such as volatile geopolitics, technological acceleration, sustainability imperatives, inflation, macro-economic uncertainty, and talent wars continue to create a supply-constrained economy. At the same time, as growth accelerates and downstream expansion continues, GCC chemical players will face additional supply chain challenges. These developments will cause a global rewiring that will fundamentally change how global value chains are configured, speakers said. Only firms that are evolving their business models to deal with scarcity will grow and win market share, they added.
Delivering the welcome remarks on day one, 16 May, Saleh Al-Suwaiti, CEO, FAHSS-TUV and Chairman, Supply Chain Committee, GPCA, called upon the industry to invest in digital technology adoption and accelerate collaboration and cooperation in order to foster more agile and resilient chemical supply chains. As part of the plenary session, Patrick Hore, Global Vertical Head of Chemicals, Maersk and Ibrahim Bin Dayel, Director, Global SC Solids, SABIC, echoed his sentiment, as they shared insights on their collaboration, the benefits as well as challenges and how they overcame them successfully through a partnership built on trust. The opening remarks on day two, 17 May, were delivered by Aslam Moola, Commercial & Business Development Director, Vopak ME and Vice-Chair, Supply Chain Committee, GPCA, while Raveen Guliani, VP, Logistics & Trade Development, DP World UAE, led a plenary address on ‘The impact of geopolitics on supply chains’.
Other esteemed speakers at the conference included Turky Bin Suwaidan, Freight Train Operations Director, Saudi Railway Company; Abdulmutalib Ghazai, MSc. P.Eng., Rail Infrastructure Director, Oman-Etihad Rail Co. (OERC); Ahmed Alkatheeri, SVP, Supply Chain Management, Borouge; Tobias Maier, Regional CFO, DHL Global Forwarding, and CEO, Saloodo; Dheeraj Bhatia, Senior Managing Director, Middle East, Hapag Lloyd; and Bassel El Dabbagh, MD – Levant, Egypt & Saudi Arabia, CEVA Logistics, among others.
Dr. Abdulwahab Al-Sadoun, Secretary General, GPCA, commented: “The insight shared at this year’s GPCA Supply Chain Conference was of phenomenal value for delegates thanks to an unrivaled speaker line-up and an excellent conference program delivered over two days of the event. I hope participants enjoyed this year’s gathering and I look forward to welcoming delegates to the next edition in 2024.”
The 4th GPCA Supply Chain Excellence Awards took place at the gala dinner on day one, 16 May, when winners were announced across four categories: Supply Chain Innovation, Best LSP of The Year, Excellence in Sustainability, and Women in Supply Chain.