India aims to grow plastic exports to UAE by 4 times to $5 billion

India’s top export destinations are China, the USA, UAE, Bangladesh, Nepal, the UK, Turkey, Germany, Italy and the Netherlands


Waheed Abbas

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Published: Thu 14 Dec 2023, 10:26 AM

Last updated: Thu 14 Dec 2023, 3:45 PM

India aims to increase plastic exports to the UAE by four times to $5 billion (Dh18.35 billion) by 2027, said a senior official of the Plastics Export Promotion Council (Plexconcil) of India.

Hemant Minocha, chairman of Plexconcil, said India’s stable economy, proximity to the UAE, and high quality of plastic products will help the South Asian country to achieve its $5 billion export goal to the Emirates.

“Bilateral trade between India and UAE reached $85 billion in 2022-23. While India imports more plastics from the UAE than it exports to the Emirates, hence, there is substantial room for growth. Export potential for Indian plastics to the UAE alone is around $5 billion, which is almost four times what we are currently doing,” Minocha told Khaleej Times in an interview on the sidelines of the Arab Plast 2023 exhibition, which is taking place at the Dubai World Trade Centre from December 13 to 15.

Established by India’s Ministry of Commerce and Industry, the Plexconcil represents 3,000 exporters who manufacture/ trade in plastic products. It is taking part in Arab Plast 2023 with the largest contingent ever of 73 exporters.

Plexconcil has also set a target to achieve $25 billion in global exports of plastic products by 2027 from currently $12 billion.

Of the $1.2 trillion plastic products exports, India’s share is only 1.1 per cent. But its exports are growing at an amazing pace of 10 per cent per annum.

Top export destinations

India’s top export destinations are China, the USA, UAE, Bangladesh, Nepal, the UK, Turkey, Germany, Italy and the Netherlands.

The South Asian country mainly exports plastic raw materials and plastic films and sheets, woven sacks and fabric, and consumer and houseware products among others.

Minocha was flanked by K. Kalimuthu, commercial representative of the Consulate General of India in Dubai, Nadhal Mohamed, general manager, Al Fajer, UAE; and Sribash Dasmohapatra, executive director of Plexconcil, in media and trade briefing.

“We are here to help our members seize this opportunity. The recent recently signed Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (Cepa) between India and the UAE has provided a framework for enhanced economic cooperation, further strengthening bilateral ties.

“The Indian plastics industry is very strategically placed to become a leading global hub for sourcing plastics and plastic products. The Middle East holds immense potential for the Indian plastic export industry. In 2022, the region imported $38 billion worth of plastics, with India capturing only a 4.7 per cent share, which amounted to $1.7 billion. I hope we will be able to increase our numbers here,” Minocha said during the media briefing on Wednesday.

Second edition of Plexconnect

Plexconcil will organise the second edition of India's only plastics export-focused exhibition Plexconnect in Mumbai from June 7 to 9, 2024.

“The first edition, held in June 2023, met with resounding success as we had over 400 international buyers from over 50 countries, networking with leading Indian exporters and generating sufficient business in just three days. We take this opportunity to invite you to the exhibition,” he added.

The upcoming edition of Plexconnect is expected to attract over 25,000 trade visitors and engage over 1,000 buyers from 100-plus countries.

Littering is a problem, not plastics

Globally, the plastic industry is under the scanner due to rising climate change and pollution, hence, there have been calls to ban plastics.

“Plastics industry also understands this, so there's a big push towards ethical recycling, bioplastics and proper sustainability,” Minocha said, adding that it's a huge industry and there is “no replacement for plastics.”

He said: “It has been getting a bad name because of single-use plastics. People should realise that littering is the problem, not plastics. So we need to become better at collecting the waste, reducing use where it's not needed and also recycling.”

He pointed out that plastics will not go away, instead, people will get more and more mindful about how to use plastic products.


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