The WFTU was represented by Suzan Abdelsalam, member of the WFTU Women’s Committee.
Allow me at the outset to convey to you the warm greetings of the World Federation of Trade Unions (WFTU) and of its 103 million members who live and work in 133 countries of the whole world.And also convey to you the greetings of the steadfast people and workers of Palestine who are struggling for their dignity and freedom as they defend with their bare bodies their land to build the independent State of Palestine on the soil of Palestine with Jerusalem as its capital. We wish you success in realizing your hopes and aspirations, and we also wish you to work towards activating and developing partnership with the Palestinian labor union movement in Palestine in light of the American bias in favor of the occupying state and the policy of arrogance that our people are subjected to.
I also send warm greetings and thank you very much for your long and steady support and solidarity that you have expressed and are still expressing alongside our just struggle of our people. We thank you from the bottom of our hearts and all the free unions that participated in the campaigns of medical and stationery donations for our people in the Gaza Strip called for by the World Federation of Trade Unions (wftu).
Your true solidarity gives us the strength and courage to continue the struggle against the Israeli occupation and against imperialism for a free and independent homeland with Jerusalem as its capital.
Today, in front of what we are subjected to from the oppression of the occupation on the one hand and the Corona pandemic and its reflection on the living reality in its various health, social and economic aspects on the other hand, we are going through the most severe challenges, as the whole world is going through as a result of the health, economic and political conditions that have cast their shadows, especially the Corona pandemic on the whole world. Millions of injuries and deaths negatively affected the economic situation in the world, which increased the rate of unemployment and poverty to rates that the world had never seen before, especially in poor countries. Which increased the percentage of child labor in poor countries in the absence of job opportunities as a result of the general conditions.
The Corona pandemic represented, from its inception until this moment, the most complex and unexpected disaster that the industry in general, force It was a sudden disaster for the chemical and petrochemical industries in the region, and a real test for business leaders in all industries in the world, as well as raised many questions about globalization and the extent to which it could be activated, as the pandemic accompanied the stagnation of the global economy and low oil prices. The volatility of raw materials and the trade war between China and the United States that was going on even before the pandemic, as it prompted investors to reconsider their plans and review their strategy and projects.
The demand for pharmaceuticals and disinfectants reached its peak, and this discrepancy was clearly evident in the specialized chemical markets, where the demand was good for some products used in the field of refining catalysts and lubricants, pointing out that the sector was forced to redistribute production priorities for its own products in a quick manner in the context of confronting part One of those challenges worldwide.
It also caused the closures in a number of countries in the world to reduce the demand for fuel of its various types, which led to a significant reduction in the production levels of oil refineries, ranging between40%-30% of the standard levels of production, and given that many of these refineries are integrated into petrochemical projects, it There has been an imbalance and shortage in the provision of some of the primary raw materials used in petrochemical production, and the process of managing the imbalance in the availability of raw materials constitutes a new set of operational and commercial challenges for those working in the field of petrochemicals.
For this we can conclude that the Middle East is running out of cheap gaseous raw materials, and therefore the expansions of the petrochemical industry in the region focused on petrochemical products based on naphtha instead of ethane as an intermediate material The message is clear, petrochemical producers in the Middle East can no longer rely on cheap raw materials, so they must find other ways to maintain their competitive edge, and moreover, they must work to enhance their commercial, operational and innovative excellence.
The changes in the markets in the recent period are shaking the ground from under the feet of major players in the petrochemical industry all over the world and not only in the Middle East region, and whoever wants to maintain his position in this industry or thrive, will have to invest in commercial, operational and innovative excellence Historically, petrochemical producers in Palestine have invested little in enhancing their trading capabilities such as sales, marketing and supply chain management, preferring instead to rely on traders and intermediaries to transport and sell their products in key markets, which usually results in them losing 3 %to 5% of their production. The value of their products in favor of intermediaries.
Already, some companies in the region have reduced their reliance on long-standing contractors by managing their supply chains through their own business regulation. But in order to get the full value of their products and not lose a single cent to anyone, Middle Eastern producers must enhance their sales and marketing capabilities as well as their supply chain management capabilities.
If petrochemical companies manage these three (sales, marketing and supply chain management) on their own, it will help them understand their customers more deeply, and also help them make smarter decisions regarding pricing. It will certainly take a long time to build these capabilities, so petrochemical companies in the region should start their transformation journey now.
– finally,. We affirm our steadfastness, our survival, and we will not leave. Our freedom and our legitimate rights are neither a gift nor a gift from anyone. The right of our people to self-determination, independence in the State of Palestine, with Jerusalem as its capital, and the return of the refugees to their homes from which they were displaced during the Nakba, in implementation of Resolution 194, will be achieved due to the solid will and steadfastness of our people and the support of the Arab and Islamic peoples for it and with them all the free people of the world.
We also highly appreciate the permanent support of the World Federation to the workers, people and the cause of Palestine in all difficult and critical times. Especially the campaigns of solidarity with the prisoners and detainees, and I salute from this pulpit our six brave prisoners of the tunnel who took away their right to freedom, all our brave prisoners behind bars and our martyrs who saturated the earth with their blood Long live the wftu Long live palestin Long live for all world working class.