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4/9/2014 | 1 MINUTE READ

Plastics Diplomacy

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When Chen Hsong lists its top markets, Iran is now among them, and the Hong Kong based supplier of injection molding machines believes that new status is due in part to the recent diplomatic defrosting between the Middle East petrochemical power and the west.


On a visit to the machinery manufacturer’s Taoyuan, Taiwan facility (pictured), Aran Chao, sales director for Chen Hsong subsidiary, Asian Plastics Machinery (APM), listed the top five export markets for the company as:


  1. China
  2. India
  3. Brazil
  4. Turkey
  5. Iran


Chao said Iran’s emergence as a top market for its machines coincided with global thawing of relations with the Islamic Republic following last year’s nuclear accord. In fact, during a tour of the company’s assembly facility, Chao noted that a majority of the completed injection molding machines in one factory bay would soon be headed 4000 miles west to Iran.


The Chen Hsong group, including APM, serves the middle east from an office and warehouse located within a free trade zone in Dubai. If Iran can build out a downstream plastics processing sector to support its massive natural gas and petrochemical resources, that office, and other equipment sellers in the region, might need to expand.

Production of polymers and plastic products is slated to jump from 800,000 tons today to 11 million tons by 2015, per the National Iranian Petrochemical Industry Development Plan. If successful, the productive capacity of Iran’s plastics industry will rise from 0.5% of the global total to 3.8%.

According to a GlobalData report entitled “Plastics Industry in the Middle East - Increased Focus on Downstream Petrochemicals to Drive the Sector”:


The Middle East already has a large downstream petrochemicals industry and this move will further boost the downstream petrochemical capacity in the region. Diversification drive will also encourage the plastic processing industry which is currently very small and scattered.


In short, diplomatic success could soon translate to business success for the Persian plastics industry.