Saleh al-Husseini,  a member of Saudi Arabia’s Majlis al-Shoura, told the MEED Middle East Petrochemicals 2012 Conference today that GCC petrochemical manufacturers need to pay more attention to World Trade Organisation (WTO) rules and how they are applied.

“We have to realise existing foreign suppliers will not necessarily welcome new entrants,” said Al-Husseini. “Some of our trading partners apply trade remedy rules to neutralise the comparative advantage that we have. That is why we need to prepare for the challenge of trade remedies.”

Al-Husseini was previously Saudi Arabia’s deputy industry minister.

“Some of the aspects of WTO rules have not been clarified in international law,” said Al-Husseini. “An example of this is the attempt to reject local feedstock prices and replace them with higher foreign feedstock costs.”

He said that WTO members are working to restrict Saudi Arabian and GCC exports and the WTO itself is the best way to counter these actions. “We all need to be vigilant in following WTO negotiations to protect our interest and to ensure our producers have fair and open access to foreign markets based on existing WTO rules and rights,” said Al-Husseini. “All efforts should be made to maintain a strong position and a careful watch over the implementation of WTO rules.”