The Gulf Petrochemicals & Chemicals Association (GPCA) has said the petrochemicals industry in the region is bracing to sustain competitiveness keeping in mind the new market realities, the Peninsula has reported. Regional capacity grew by 10% in 2011, reaching 121 million tonnes per annum. Between 2007 and 2011 regional petrochemicals capacity expanded at 13% compounded annual growth rate. At the same time, wage inflation and rising raw materials costs, incurred as the global economy edges out of recession, are having a knock-on effect on the bottom line of the GCC petrochemicals sector, the GPCA noted. "We are optimistic about the future and aim to achieve growth focusing on technology, innovation and long-term partnerships," said Dr Abdulwahab Al Sadoun, secretary general of the GPCA.