Traditionally, the European Union (EU) and United States (US) were the key chemical hubs globally. Together they contributed to nearly 40% of global chemical sales till 2006. However, the Great Recession of 2008 changed everything. Developing countries started faring better than the relatively mature economies of the West.
Over the last decade, the core of the chemical industry has shifted from the West to Asia, with China being the key benefactor. Manufacturers in the Asian region enjoy low labour costs, relatively relaxed environmental norms and government subsidies.