Nice to host one more talk with you in Face2Face, Mr Hulme. Please tell us about latest endeavours at Huntsman’s textile arm?
Despite the lagging economy, Huntsman Textile Effects (TE) had a busy and successful year in 2009. Some of our core accomplishments and successes included: the global realignment of the overall TE business, moving our headquarters from Switzerland to Singapore to be closer to our customers, key investments and acquisitions in important markets, innovation through 30 new product launches and the ccontinuing development of research and technology developments in India and Asia.
Even more, we are excited about the prospect of 2010. Led by greater growth in Asia and revived consumer demand, projections are looking upward and positive in this year of a recovering economy. Indeed, it is estimated that global dyes and intermediates will be valued at $19 billion by 2012, with an expected growth of 2% per annum.
Asia is an ideal candidate for this higher production and sales due to its growing population, increased industrialisation and abundant labour – and at TE – we believe we have the key tools in place to help ride with the flow and capitalise on these opportunities.
One example is that we have imposed a self-governance programme through REACH, which stands for Registration, Evaluation and Authorisation of Chemicals. REACH is a single coherent system for new and existing substances that governs all substances manufactured in or imported into the European Union, which impacts the entire value chain. We have invested US$30 million into this programme beginning last year which is ongoing for the next two years.
Does that mean the good year begins for textile chemicals industry world over?
There are many signs of a global economic recovery, including higher growth in Asia and an increase in consumer confidence and demand, and TE has taken many steps in the past years to ready itself in this growth.
We have started off the New Year on the right foot with two new key partnerships, which will help to further supplement the leadership position we already hold in Asia. With Alok Industries, a global integrated textile solutions provider, TE was just recently conferred a status as a preferred supplier. With Alps Industries, one of India’s largest home textiles exporters, we signed an exclusive partnership for supply and technical support.
2010 will be the year of opportunities and I am confident we have put all the right tools in place to best confront and take advantage of these.
DISCLAIMER: All views and opinions expressed in this column are solely of the interviewee, and they do not reflect in any way the opinion of Fibre2Fashion.com.