May 30, 2017 – Cincinnati, OH – The ChemQuest Group, Inc., a leading business strategy firm in specialty chemicals, is pleased to announce that Senior Vice President, James E. Swope, pictured (3rd from left) is among a select group of 23 top business leaders granted a license at the Saudi-U.S. CEO Forum in Riyadh on May 20, 2017. Coinciding with President Trump’s visit to Saudi Arabia, the Saudi-U.S. CEO Forum is a springboard for investment opportunities to advance economic diversification especially in Saudi Arabia to augment oil & gas production. Equally important are investment opportunities for bilateral job creation, sustainable joint ventures and historic trade relations, which reportedly will be buoyed by stronger political and security ties between the two countries. ChemQuest was among 50 U.S.-based companies and 40 Saudi businesses together with nine multinational companies and nine senior government officials attending the Saudi-U.S. summit held at the Four Seasons Hotel in Riyadh.

In December 2016, the co-chair of the Saudi-U.S. CEO Forum, Dow Chemical’s CEO Andrew Liveris, was named head of the U.S. Manufacturing Council by President Trump – and, by extension, head of the U.S. Manufacturing Jobs Initiative. Like Dow Chemical, ChemQuest is committed to sustainable growth in the global manufacturing sector driven by materials innovation.

Among many other objectives, the KSA’s Vision 2030 commits to a 70% increase in manufacturing capacity in the region by 2030. The production of paints and coatings is integral to manufacturing capacity increases in the Middle East.

ChemQuest’s commitment to a growing manufacturing sector is demonstrated in its technical and market study delivered to SAGIA. ChemQuest recommended a profitable, organic-growth-oriented business investment case for paint and coatings produced in Saudi Arabia to meet growing regional demand (amid persistent import gaps) in the Middle East achieved through four specific undertakings in the region:

  • Leverage oil & gas production to further develop local downstream intermediate feedstocks and end-user industries.
  • For select molecules, support investments required to become a low-cost producer of intermediates.
  • To achieve economies of scale, expand its addressable market beyond the Middle East to include Africa, India, China and SE Asia.
  • Expand its end-market scope to include adhesives, sealants, inks, textiles, nonwovens, plastics, and personal care- and home-care products.

Meanwhile in North America, ChemQuest has recently observed three major trends that are converging in favor of the U.S. specialty chemicals industry:

  • A shift in U.S. manufacturing: More than 300 companies have reshored in the past six years, with many returning from China.
  • The net effect of this domestic manufacturing renaissance with a growing demand for passenger vehicles is that the average value of specialty chemicals in North American light vehicle manufacturing has jumped 39% in value, with plastics in high demand.
  • Thirdly, the U.S. is enjoying a sustained opportunity for low feedstock costs due to vast new NGL supplies that are generating historically low prices for U.S. ethane. Natural gas supplies provide a windfall cost reduction of “up to” 60% in raw materials for paints & coatings, adhesives & sealants, and plastics making natural gas and NGL (in particular, Marcellus Shale gas) a game-changer for the specialty chemicals industry.

With over 35 years of experience in the specialty chemicals industry in the aforementioned verticals, Dan Murad, president/CEO, is “extremely honored by the confidence the Saudi-U.S. CEO Forum has placed in ChemQuest. I look forward to participating in the goal of increasing manufacturing capacity in the region.”  Jim Swope is “likewise extremely honored to personally accept the license awarded to the ChemQuest Group, Inc. and its Technology Institute, given that innovation enablement is a key focus for ChemQuest’s role in increasing manufacturing capacity in both countries. In the U.S., the reshoring trend is providing ChemQuest clients with the means to develop, market and sell high performance technologies that restore, beautify and protect surfaces as well as a range of materials used to manufacture and chemically bond products, parts and components.”


About The ChemQuest Group, Inc.

The ChemQuest Group Inc., a leading international business strategy firm in specialty chemicals, is widely recognized among raw material suppliers, formulators and financial investors for its experience and expertise. ChemQuest’s four service pillars include Business Strategy; Mergers, Acquisitions or Divestitures; Commercial & Operational Efficiencies; as well as Technology Planning & Development through the ChemQuest Technology Institute. ChemQuest services extend across twelve formulated product categories and over ten end-use markets within the specialty chemicals value chain. Our team includes experienced senior managers from major manufacturers, business owners, and senior technical managers including thirteen Ph.D. chemists, with a minimum of 25 years of experience in specialty chemicals. For more information, visit

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