INDIA AND THE GLOBAL
PLASTICS SUPPLY CHAIN, EMAP, LONDON 2004
Françoise Pardos, Pardos Marketing, February 2006
Plastics in the world in the Twenties
The general world plastics industry in the 2020s is going to be
entirely different in the next twenty years from what it appears
Plastics are to continue their growth in the next twenty years and
beyond, from 175 million tons in 2004 to 550 million tons in 2020.
And this is just a beginning.
The general quantitative forecasts, however, show varying rates
of growth, with:
- Population growth tapering and average income fast growing,
- Faster growing areas, outside the traditional Triad, USA, Europe,
- Faster growing applications, in structural and durables,
- New plastics coming, high performance, alloys, composites, silica
- And, maybe, entirely new paradigms for the next 25 years, with
the decline of fossil fuels as energy
The world economic scene
The world is fast changing, with world changes are accelerating
in the next 20 years, with:
- Instantaneous communications,
- The Web network just starting now, with still uncharted magic
- Access to disposable income for increasing numbers,
- Growing needs for infrastructures,
This is a major phenomenon for mankind, more than Renaissance or
Industrial Revolution, but immediately visible and happening much
faster. It is a change of world that has become global in less than
A change of pace, as:
- Europe took a century to develop,
- The US, 50 years,
- Japan, 25 years,
- New emerging countries 10 or 15 years, from ploughs to computers.
Why 20 years from now?
20 years is not so long a time, as many of us remember 1984, towns
are still there and most buildings.
There is higher income and better living for many more.
There are other dark sides, but they are not the topic of this paper.
Most of 2004 could be already forecast in 1984.
In several tables, the year 2000 is taken as basis for present.
A good reason, because it is a round number
A bad reason, because I have not yet gone through the lengthy updating
So, 2020 is written in large part, in continuing context, and yet
there is more than extrapolations, there are breakthroughs to come.
In this long term still foreseeable future, the tapering-off of ethylene
and petrochemicals is not to happen before 2030-2035.
Population forecasts are tapering-off to 2020.
In the industrialized world, Europe, Russia, N. America, Japan,
there were 1.5 billions in 2000, and the population will grow slowly
to 1.6 billions in 2020, 0.3 %/year.
For the new giants, China, India, Brazil, 2.3 billions, in 2000,
to grow 1% /year to 2.8 billions in 2020.
In the new emerging economies, Middle East, Asia/Pacific, Latin
America, 1.3 billions in 2000, to grow 1% /year to 1.6 billions in
And for the laggard areas, most of Africa and a few others, the
2000 population total is to grow from 1 billion plus in 2000 to 1.3
billions, 1.4% /year.
The total world population of 6.1 billions in 2000 is to reach 7.3
billions in 2020, with average rate of growth of less 1%, markedly
slowing down compared to 1980-2000, 1.5%/year.
Gross National Income GNI continues to grow
Total world GNI of 31 300 billion dollars in 2000 is to grow an
average long term rate of 2.5 % /year.
With a total world GNI of 50 000 billion dollars in 2020, the per
capita GNI, that was $ 5100 in 2000, will reach $ 6800 in 2020.
There will be free trade for all industrial products in 2020. Major
trading areas will develop into blocks, consolidating and extending
the existing trade areas:
- NAFTA and FTAA
- Economic Union EU and associates
- ASEAN and associates
All these forecasts are halfway from those developed by Goldman
Sachs on the BRIC report, about Brazil, Russia, China, India emergence
as world leaders by 2050, a very fascinating reading, that has been
widely read in India in end 2003.
Yet the world is changing in many ways in the next 20 years and
beyond, with major macro economic trends to continue in the long
term, as long as nothing catastrophic happens to the world and to
The so-called "globalization" is blending into "gloCalization", from
the "nation" to the "region", as German futurologist
Matthias Horx describes.
There is the new major phenomenon of the aging of the population
Actually, aging is the surface of things, what is happening is a
deeper trend, another demographic transition. The first transition
in the 20th century was fewer deaths, the new transition, of the
21st century, is fewer births. Population had exploded, to the dismay
of most analysts, because of great unbalance between more births
and later deaths. Population will shrink, with fewer births, and
more deaths that cannot be postponed for ever.
Many analysts worry about aging population, they should not. Age
is a relative and artificial definition. Old age had been defined
at 60 by the late Latin lawyer Cicero, and we have stuck to that
definition ever since. Those of us with some past vision may remember
how the definition of old age has changed over their lifetime. The
seventy year olds of today are more like the fifty plus of bygone
There have been more democratic regimes with elections in the last
20 years, and hopefuls see time winning over most last strongholds
of non democracies.
Continuing development of mass education, in spite
of set-backs, slow moves and failures. Better education is a major
key to development, helped by the smaller number of children. Women
education is a major drive in this trend, still hopeful, but getting
ground in many countries.
Other sociological trends, still in the rich developed
areas, but to be gradually imitated everywhere, are greater individualization,
growing importance of women in the work place, leading to “birth
strike”. These trends already have an impact on marketing strategies
for consumer products in the richer countries, like marketing and
advertising to the singles, to the matures.
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