The Gulf petrochemicals industry  continues to be the largest producer and exporter in the world accounting for 11 per cent of the $600 billion global petrochemical industry, said a study.Over the next five years, the Gulf's market share will jump to over 17 per cent, according to the industrial study.The mammoth Gulf petrochemicals industry continues offloading the majority of its output to more than 150 countries worldwide, said Satish Khanna, the general manager of Al Fajer Information and Services, the co-organiser of ArabPlast 2013, a leading trade show for plastics, rubber and petrochemical industries, to be held in Dubai.ArabPlast is being held in association with German exhibition organiser Messe Dusseldorf from January 7 to 10 at the Dubai International Exhibition Centre.“The GCC is truly the center of gravity for the Gulf petrochemical industry, with huge local and external investments and global major players partnering with local companies projecting to increase the share of GCC region in the production of petrochemicals,” remarked Khanna.Rising demand from Asia and increasing European appetite for Middle Eastern products are also helping absorb the surge in production of plastics and petrochemicals by fast-expanding GCC manufacturers, he stated.According to Khanna, the petrochemical industry  was a major contributor to the GCC economies."The Gulf is the leading export hub of plastics raw material to the world, thanks to companies from the UAE, Qatar, Oman, Kuwait and Saudi. Leading petrochemical companies in the Gulf do not depend on the Middle East market because they export to more than 150 countries worldwide,” he added.Khanna pointed out that petrochemical industry in the GCC began to evolve with the establishment of Qapco in 1980. Saudi incepted Sabic Methanol in 1983, Bahrain launched GPIC Methanol in 1985 and it got fueled with Borouge Petrochemicals in 2002 and Oman Methanol Sohar in 2005.On Arabplast expo, Khanna said the show be 34 per cent bigger than the 2011 edition, following record number of exhibitors and sponsors. The major sponsors for key industry event include Qapco, Borouge, Natpet, Petrorabigh and Tasnee.A record number of companies from 47 countries are participating in ArabPlast 2013, a reflection on the growing importance attached by GCC countries to strengthening their manufacturing industries, including plastics and rubber sector, which are known to be more sustainable investments in the long run. "The growth of this show reflects the high global demand for plastics and its raw materials and of course the machines. ArabPlast has defied recession, with the 2009 edition ending on a very successful note, and the 2011 show registering a dramatic increase in the number of exhibitors, sponsors and display space," said Khanna.On display at the expo will be new products and technologies in injection moulding, blow molding, wrapping and packaging, pre and post plastic processing techniques as well as raw materials, such as masterbatches, additives and polymers, he added.