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Françoise Pardos, Pardos Marketing, February 2006


The world scene to 2020

Seventeen years from now is not so long and there are not so many drastic changes, as in 2003, some of us remember of what it looked like in 1983, or rather 1986.

Most of the people are still there, and the towns and the buildings and the sights.
What sort of strong or subtle changes do happen in a seventeen-year span? This is just an average long term.
What developed in the plastics industry in the world since 1986?
What economies engaged strongly in plastics?
How the sheer size of the plastics industry has grown?
What are the new big players?

But the key is not to extrapolate, and yet:

Most of what happened in 2003 could already be forecast in 1986, with limited margin in error.

We are now privileged, as we live in a time in which many things happen in the short time span of two decades, and can yet be charted without too drastic mistakes. This is because changes are happening fast, but they are in larger part predictable, without too much recourse to plain extrapolations. Of course all this without any major climatic, geologic, politic or other upheaval.

For a vision of the economy and the expected average income of the major countries and areas, by 2020, most is already written.

Demographics certainly is, the major change being the slowdown of population growth, in spite of aging everywhere and particularly in the developed world.

Without any major upheaval, the growth of the economies is a sure forecast, even in the poorer countries, provided there is no war raging.

The major suppliers, where the new crackers are going to be, are already known in general, together with the new capacity and expansion projects at least up to 2010.

The main applications are also known, in terms of infrastructures, durables and one-way articles.

There are of course the new-new applications, those that are trend setters, and may quantitatively create shifts. In earlier times, plastics consumption was supported by major waves, like the developments of pipes, films, plastics bottles, etc. But this was a time when the overall size of the industry was smaller, so the impact of any new application showed much more.

Today, even though the new mass developing countries draw a development similar to that of Europe /US/Japan in the sixties/seventies, the overall impact is less as there already is the massive and slow growing size of the developed world

Even the terms, developed, developing world, are fast becoming meaningless. New definitions and new words must be coined, like globalization, which it is neither bad nor good, just a fact of life to include in the present and in the future.



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