New Southbound Policy (New Southbound Policy) is an important governance goal of Taiwan, targeting 10 ASEAN countries, 6 South Asian countries, and 2 New Zealand and Australia countries, a total of 18 new markets. As the development of the petrochemical industry is affected by the market size, infrastructure, and economic development, in recent years, the petrochemical industry has focused on emerging South-South countries such as Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, Vietnam, and India as the main development markets. Both demand and supply are growing rapidly, but they are also the main source of marine plastic waste (Plastic Marine Debris). This article will focus on the new southbound countries with huge potential in the petrochemical industry-Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, Vietnam, and India as the main axis to discuss the current status of the polyethylene (PE) and polypropylene (PP) plastic markets in various countries, including economic development, supply and demand development of plastic raw materials And the challenge of marine waste plastics to various countries.
New South to the national plastic market continues to grow
1. The consumer market has huge potential
In 2018, the global GDP growth rate was 3.7%, while the average GDP growth rate of ASEAN countries exceeded 5%, and India's was 7.3%. It was the country with the highest economic growth rate in the New South-facing countries.
Singapore ’s per capita GDP has reached the level of high-income countries. Emerging markets such as Malaysia, China, and Thailand have per capita GDPs between USD 7,000 and USD 10,000, while Indonesia, the Philippines, Vietnam, and India have per capita GDPs between 2,000 and 4,000. The emerging markets of the petrochemical industry in the New Southbound countries still have a lot of room for growth from the maturity of economic development. The per capita consumption of plastics further differentiates the differences in the current market demand among the New Southbound countries.
In 2018, the demand for polypropylene (PE) and polyethylene (PP) represents the per-capita plastic consumption of various countries. The annual per capita consumption of plastics in Malaysia and Thailand is about 50 to 60 kg, which is similar to the United States, Japan, and Taiwan, and it is a gradually mature emerging market. Vietnam, Indonesia, the Philippines, and India have annual plastic consumption of less than 10 kg per capita, which has great growth potential; in particular, the total population of India is close to that of China, and the growth space for plastic consumption is still large, making India a petrochemical industry and consumer in recent years An important investment area for sex products.
2. Continue to increase the production capacity of plastic materials
In the next few years, Malaysia and Vietnam have plans to build large-scale petrochemical parks, and the new production capacity of bulk petrochemical products includes Thailand, Malaysia, Vietnam, and India. The import and export of plastic raw materials PE and PP in various countries have been different in recent years. Thailand is a net exporter of plastic raw materials, and
Countries such as Malaysia, India, Indonesia, and Vietnam still rely on imports.
Malaysia's Bianjialan Refining and Petrochemical Comprehensive Development Park Project (RAPID) will become a net exporter of plastic raw materials after it is put into production. In 2017, India's demand gap was 1 million tons. With the continuous increase in the production capacity of Indian petrochemical products in recent years, the net import of plastic raw materials has gradually declined. Vietnam and Indonesia will maintain a total net import of more than 2 million tons of plastic raw materials in the future. They are the top three net importers of plastic raw materials in the New South-facing countries, and one of the countries with a fast-growing domestic demand market.
Challenges of marine plastics in Southeast Asia
In 2015, the “Science” study pointed out that the top 20 sources of marine plastic waste, the Southeast Asian countries accounted for 6 of them. Myanmar, besides, India also ranked 12. Since marine plastics cause environmental pollution, ecological hazards and may affect human health, the disposal of waste plastics is an important issue for sustainable development worldwide.