Against the backdrop of a rapidly evolving business landscape, speakers at the 10th GPCA Supply Chain Conference emphasised the importance of stakeholder collaboration in order to address the risks that could have implications for business continuity.
The two-day conference saw speakers identify collaboration as a key driver of growth and business transformation, enabling cost efficiencies and reduced disruption.
In his keynote address, Mohammed Al Muallem, CEO and managing director, DP World, UAE region, and CEO, JAFZA, highlighted the drivers for collaboration to meet future challenges and growing demand from key export markets.
Al Muallem said: “The largest demand growth will come from Asia, which will account for 60% of the middle class globally and 40% of total chemicals demand. With global supply chains becoming increasingly complex and diverse, the need of the hour is increased value and efficiencies underpinned by effective cross stakeholder collaboration.
Dr Robert de Souza, executive director and CEO, the Logistics Institute – Asia Pacific, told the audience in a second keynote address that risk management will be key to predict future challenges and ensure the robustness and resilience of the region’s supply chain industry.
During the event, technological advancements such as autonomous vehicles, 3D printing, IoT, advanced robotics, etc. and identifying and retaining talent to implement digital and analytics to understand them, were identified as pressure points within the global supply chain industry.
The importance of talent was further emphasised, with the 7th edition of GPCA’s Leaders of Tomorrow programme powered by SABIC taking place alongside the conference and providing students from across the GCC with a valuable opportunity to network with senior industry leaders and learn about the career opportunities within the chemical industry in the GCC. As part of an organised site visit, students from across the region enjoyed a tour around the logistics site of RSE-TALKE in Jebel Ali Free Zone and Dubai World Central.
Dr Abdulwahab Al Sadoun, secretary general, GPCA, commented: “With the chemicals industry being an export-oriented one, the supply chain is an integral element of its operations. The success of the Arabian Gulf chemicals industry is underpinned by effective supply chain management, which has a direct impact on its profitability. Increasing collaboration with internal and external stakeholders can drive bottom-line results and reduce the risks and costs of supply chain functions.”
Al Sadoun added: “Collaboration will be needed not just within the industry itself, but among different stakeholders such as government, academia, logistics, technology providers and buyers to improve the region’s competitiveness and address the challenges ahead.”