Posted on August 08, 2015

The $4.6bn Long Son Petrochemical Project in Vietnam's Ba Ria-Vung Tau province could help boost economic contributions of Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) countries to Qatar, Thailand Ambassador Piroon Laismit said. He said the "trilateral project," which is being built on a 400-hectare complex inside the Long Son Industrial Zone, is a joint venture between Qatar Petroleum International (QPI, which is set to be integrated with parent QP), PetroVietnam, and Thailand-based Siam Cement Group (SCG), said Gulf Times.

"The project costs almost $5bn and is expected to commence operations in 2019," the ambassador told Gulf Times during the celebration of the 48th anniversary of Asean in Doha yesterday. According to Laismit, the complex will use ethane, naphtha, and propane as feedstock and is expected to cater to domestic demand for plastic resins. "The complex will produce 2.7mn tonnes of polyethylene and polypropylene, as well as 700,000 tonnes of compounds for the production of polyvinyl chloride and 840,000 tonnes of other chemicals for the petrochemical and chemical industry," he said.

Aside from the project, the ambassador said another economic contribution to Qatar is the supply of a competent workforce from Southeast Asian countries. Laismit said the labour force of each Asean member country varies, with most of them supplying workers in Qatar's services sector. "For Thailand, we have around 2,500 skilled technicians in Qatar. We cannot support much of Qatar's need for workers in the construction sector because we have a similar need in Thailand; we even have to source out workers from neighbouring countries.

Qatar Airways HQ 300x250

"But given the opportunity we could also support Qatar's workforce by sending good Thai engineers to the country," Laismit said. The ambassador also said countries in Southeast Asia have an agricultural edge. "Not only the labour force but Asean member countries contribute to the food security of Qatar and the rest of the GCC region through the supply of various agricultural products. "Qatar, on the other hand, supplies energy to us; therefore, we complement each other," the ambassador said.

Indonesian Ambassador Deddy Saiful Hadi, who is the current chairman of the Asean Committee Doha (ACD), said, "The supply of professional and skilled workers from Asean countries is a huge economic contribution to Qatar because these people facilitate a wide range of services to Qatar's public and private sector." This was reiterated by Philippine Ambassador Wilfredo Santos, who added, "We are mindful of the economic contributions of the Asean workforce in Qatar. We are here to stay."

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