India is setting ambitious targets to significantly boost its plastic exports to the United Arab Emirates (UAE), aiming for a fourfold increase to reach $5 billion (Dh18.35 billion) by 2027.

The Plastics Export Promotion Council (Plexconcil) of India is spearheading this initiative, with its chairman, Hemant Minocha, expressing confidence in India’s stable economy, geographical proximity to the UAE, and the high quality of its plastic products as key factors facilitating the realization of this goal.

In an interview at the Arab Plast 2023 exhibition, Minocha highlighted the substantial room for growth in bilateral trade between India and the UAE, which amounted to $85 billion in 2022-23.

Despite India currently importing more plastics from the UAE than it exports, Minocha emphasized the export potential for Indian plastics to the UAE, estimating it at around $5 billion—four times the current volume.

Plexconcil, established by India’s Ministry of Commerce and Industry, represents 3,000 exporters engaged in the manufacture and trade of plastic products.

The organization is actively participating in Arab Plast 2023, fielding its largest-ever contingent of 73 exporters.

Beyond the UAE, Plexconcil has set a broader target of achieving $25 billion in global exports of plastic products by 2027, doubling its current figure of $12 billion.

India’s share in the global plastic products export market is currently 1.1%, out of a total of $1.2 trillion. However, despite this relatively small share, India’s plastic exports are experiencing rapid growth at a rate of 10% per annum.

The major export destinations for India include China, the USA, UAE, Bangladesh, Nepal, the UK, Turkey, Germany, Italy, and the Netherlands.

The Plastics Export Promotion Council is strategically positioning the Indian plastics industry to become a leading global hub for sourcing plastics and plastic products.

Minocha emphasized the significant potential in the Middle East, citing the region’s $38 billion worth of plastic imports in 2022, with India capturing only a 4.7% share amounting to $1.7 billion.

He expressed optimism about increasing these numbers, especially with the recent signing of the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (Cepa) between India and the UAE, further strengthening economic cooperation.

Looking ahead, Plexconcil is gearing up for the second edition of Plexconnect, India’s only plastics export-focused exhibition, scheduled to take place in Mumbai from June 7 to 9, 2024.

The inaugural edition in June 2023 witnessed considerable success, with over 400 international buyers from 50 countries engaging with leading Indian exporters and generating substantial business in just three days.

The upcoming edition aims to attract over 25,000 trade visitors and involve more than 1,000 buyers from 100-plus countries.

Amidst global concerns about climate change and pollution, Minocha acknowledged the scrutiny facing the plastic industry.

However, he stressed the industry’s commitment to ethical recycling, bioplastics, and sustainability. While acknowledging the negative impact of single-use plastics, he emphasized that the real issue is littering, not plastics themselves.

Minocha believes that people need to focus on improving waste collection, reducing unnecessary plastic usage, and embracing recycling practices.

Despite the challenges, he asserted that plastics are indispensable, and the industry will witness increased mindfulness in the use of plastic products.

 

 

Last Updated: 14 December 2023