SABIC, KACARE tie up for renewable energy studies

Updated 28 February 2014

SABIC, KACARE tie up for renewable energy studies

SABIC and the King Abdullah City for Atomic and Renewable Energy (KACARE) have signed a research and development agreement to explore untapped areas of cooperation in joint technology development.
Hashim Abdullah Yamani, KACARE president, and Mohamed Al-Mady, SABIC vice chairman and CEO, signed the deal in Riyadh.
Under the agreement, SABIC and KACARE, in the focus area of technology and innovation, will develop a range of protocols for evaluation and feasibility of renewable energies including, solar, wind, and municipal waste, with specific attention given to electricity or steam generation for industrial usage, and energy storage.
Al-Mady said: “SABIC, as a world leader in chemicals and with a strong commitment to sustainability, is proud to partner with KACARE, whose primary aim is to develop alternative energy capacity supported by local industries.”
He added: “As part of our endeavor, we are looking toward several key areas of cooperation, including facilitating renewable energy technologies in Saudi Arabia and stimulating the local production of key components for such energy generation and storage.”
Al-Mady said: “We want to ensure over time a win-win partnership with KACARE that would address the energy needs of Saudi Arabia, generate employment, stimulate the economy, and bring benefits for the coming generations.” KACARE was established in 2010 with the fundamental aim of building a sustainable future for Saudi Arabia by developing a substantial alternative energy capacity fully supported by world-class local industries.
SABIC continues to invest in innovative technologies to develop products and applications that are energy efficient and respond to sustainability needs.
SABIC ranks among the world’s top petrochemical companies.
The company is among the world’s market leaders in the production of polyethylene, polypropylene and other advanced thermoplastics, glycols, methanol and fertilizers.


US trade offensive takes out WTO as global arbiter

Updated 21 min 36 sec ago

US trade offensive takes out WTO as global arbiter

  • Two years after starting to block appointments, the US will finally paralyze the WTO’s Appellate Body
  • Two of three members of Appellate Body exit and leave it unable to issue rulings

BRUSSELS: US disruption of the global economic order reaches a major milestone on Tuesday as the World Trade Organization (WTO) loses its ability to intervene in trade wars, threatening the future of the Geneva-based body.
Two years after starting to block appointments, the United States will finally paralyze the WTO’s Appellate Body, which acts as the supreme court for international trade, as two of three members exit and leave it unable to issue rulings.
Major trade disputes, including the US conflict with China and metal tariffs imposed by US President Donald Trump, will not be resolved by the global trade arbiter.
Stephen Vaughn, who served as general counsel to the US Trade Representative during Trump’s first two years, said many disputes would be settled in future by negotiations.
Critics say this means a return to a post-war period of inconsistent settlements, problems the WTO’s creation in 1995 was designed to fix.
The EU ambassador to the WTO told counterparts in Geneva on Monday the Appellate Body’s paralysis risked creating a system of economic relations based on power rather than rules.
The crippling of dispute settlement comes as the WTO also struggles in its other major role of opening markets.
The WTO club of 164 has not produced any international accord since abandoning “Doha Round” negotiations in 2015.
Trade-restrictive measures among the G20 group of largest economies are at historic highs, compounded by Trump’s “America First” agenda and the trade war with China.
Phil Hogan, the European Union’s new trade commissioner, said on Friday the WTO was no longer fit for purpose and in dire need of reforms going beyond just fixing the appeals mechanism.
For developed countries, in particular, the WTO’s rules must change to take account of state-controlled enterprises.
In 2017, Japan brought together the United States and the European Union in a joint bid to set new global rules on state subsidies and forced technology transfers.
The US is also pushing to limit the ability of WTO members to grant themselves developing status, which for example gives them longer to implement WTO agreements.
Such “developing countries” include Singapore and Israel, but China is the clear focus.
US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross told Reuters last week the United States wanted to end concessions given to then struggling economies that were no longer appropriate.
“We’ve been spoiling countries for a very, very long time, so naturally they’re pushing back as we try to change things,” he said.
The trouble with WTO reform is that changes require consensus to pass. That includes Chinese backing.
Beijing has published its own reform proposals with a string of grievances against US actions. Reform should resolve crucial issues threatening the WTO’s existence, while preserving the interests of developing countries.
Many observers believe the WTO faces a pivotal moment in mid-2020 when its trade ministers gather in a drive to push through a multinational deal — on cutting fishing subsidies.
“It’s not the WTO that will save the fish. It’s the fish that are going to save the WTO,” said one ambassador.