The UAE Singapore Business Council (UAESBC) organised a major Oil, Petrochemical and Logistics (OPL) Seminar on 2nd August at the Suntec Convention Centre, Singapore. It was a showcase event involving key UAE companies in this significant sector of the UAE economy. The four UAE companies that co-sponsored the event were: Borouge, Emirates National Oil Company (ENOC), First Abu Dhabi Bank and Horizon Terminals. Each of these sponsors had experts undertaking presentations on various aspects of the Oil, Petrochemical and Logistics sector. The event was graced by the presence of Mr Lee Yi Shyan, Singapore Member of Parliament and Patron of the UAESBC who was also Singapore’s former Senior Minister of State for Trade and Industry.
The Opening Address was delivered by His Excellency Mohamed Salem Hamdan Alfalahi, First Secretary of the UAE Embassy in Singapore, who expressed his appreciation to the UAESBC and the sponsors in organising this seminar to highlight UAE’s oil and gas sector which attracts the largest amount of investments representing 30% of total fixed capital formation. The country is the seven largest oil producer and was the first Middle Eastern country to export gas to Asia in 1977. He also reiterated the importance of Asia to the UAE oil sector which received 96% of the country’s oil exports.
Mr Glenn Wepener, an economist from First Abu Dhabi Bank, spoke about the push and pull factors impacting the oil market in 2019. Mr Abdulwahab Ismail from the Abu Dhabi Polymer Company or Borouge, who operate one of the world’s largest refining and petrochemical complex, described the current trends in the petrochemical industry. His colleague, Mr Richard Horne, explained the importance of enabling a circular economy especially in the recycling and the reusing of plastics. He emphasised the importance given by Borouge to minimize the environmental impact of plastics and other packaging.
Mr Moiz Saleem from ENOC, the leading UAE oil trading company having a global oil trading business in Singapore, was particularly qualified in sharing the challenges faced by oil traders in a highly volatile market. Mr Howard Pang of Horizon Terminals expanded on the activities of the company as a major UAE oil storage operator that has invested substantially in Jurong Island, Singapore. This enables Horizon Terminals to leverage Singapore’s strategic reputation as a key oil refining and pricing market as well as the world’s largest bunkering hub.
The presentations were followed by a lively panel discussion moderated by Dr Brian Shegar, President of the UAESBC. This gave the opportunity for the speakers to expand on their presentations and address specific queries on the topics discussed. The audience participated actively in the Q & A session.
Dr Brian Shegar in his concluding remarks explained the mission of the UAESBC to promote business to business connectivity and enhancing trade and investment flows between UAE and Singapore. He expanded on the activities of the UAESBC which include Breakfast Talks by experts, seminars on various topics of interest and Trade Missions to the UAE on a sector-specific basis. Finally, he hoped that this OPL Seminar would encourage more Singapore companies to pursue business opportunities in this important sector of the UAE economy.
The seminar was a resounding success with over a hundred attendees from companies in the Oil, Petrochemical and Logistics sector, suppliers, bankers and service providers. The participants unanimously found the seminar highly informative and interesting.
Photos from the event can be viewed below: