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Chemical Industry vision 2030: A European perspective

Vision 2030 outlines emerging challenges, analyses the current positioning, and highlights imperatives of the european chemical industry in positioning itself to stay ahead of the game.

The European chemical industry is facing major challenges as value chains increasingly move eastward, drawn by economic growth and market opportunities in Asia. A new, more competitive environment is taking shape, giving rise to state-controlled players and emerging chemical giants. Fragile economic conditions require managing volatility on a playing field where trade flows gradually change direction. Understanding what these challenges mean, and more importantly, identifying the right strategic options to thrive in this new competitive environment are at the top of every chemical executive’s agenda.

Since the mid-1980s, the global chemical industry has grown by 7 percent annually, reaching €2.4 trillion in 2010. Most of the growth in the past 25 years has been driven by Asia, which now owns almost half of global chemical sales. If current trends continue, global chemical markets are expected to grow an average 3 percent in the next 20 years, mostly pushed by the major players in Asia and the Middle East. Enjoying a home-field advantage, Asian players are positioned to own two-thirds of the market by 2030.

Meanwhile, growth in Europe is expected to be moderate at just 1 percent. In fact, we expect more than 30 percent of jobs to be lost in the European chemical industry by 2030 as a result of slow growth and productivity gains.

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