Thrive, don't just survive

13 - 15 February 2023   |   Exhibition World Bahrain
Under the patronage of HRH Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa, Crown Prince and the Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Bahrain
Under the patronage of HRH Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa, Crown Prince and the Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Bahrain

Thrive, don’t just survive

Collaboration – the key to succeed in the new world

Recently, while commemorating 75 years of World War II, German President Frank Walter Steinmeier said, "Never again means never again alone". World leaders evoked the WWII spirit of collaboration in the battle against the pandemic.

Gone is the era where nations, industries and businesses could thrive independently.

COVID-19 has become a game-changer, one where you can’t rely on previous consumer habits to predict the future.

What’s clear and out there for everyone to see is that the current pandemic has exposed gaping holes in the system, especially in areas of supply and demand, healthcare, infrastructure, to name a few. And what it’s lead to is amazing – inter-dependency, the need to rely on each other’s technologies, know-how, ideas and strategies to survive.

What COVID-19 has taught businesses is that nobody is immune. Finance leaders recently shared how this pandemic shifted their focus in a small window of time. Business-critical factors like liquidity, supply chain diversification, IT infrastructure and talent management will need to be relooked at; keeping scenario planning at the forefront.

Downstream and GDA

The current crisis has also made consumers realise what’s essential for their survival and what’s needed for their growth. Such realisation will shape their future demand for energy and products. Studying these changes in consumer behaviour and eventually, their demands will impact how downstream industries operate.
Starting now - a collaboration with new players to meet such diversified consumer demands will be the key to continue operating profitably.

While energy demand may eventually recover to its normal level in due course of time, the ways of meeting such demand may radically become different. The downstream industry will have to leverage on many other industries to sustain its growth.


There have been many studies recently to forecast which industries would thrive in the new world. Some of these winning industries are:

  • Digital technologies / solution providers
  • Health service – physical, mental and spiritual
  • Gig economy (pay per task or per service)
  • Virtual / online training & education
  • Online events
  • Alternative energy
  • Gaming
  • Network marketing

GDA provides the perfect platform for the downstream industry to establish and execute multi-players collaboration. Downstream operators can collaborate and jointly work on their common challenges. Solution providers can learn about these industry challenges and showcase their solutions to all operators on a single platform. GDA could also play the role of a new technology incubator supported by member companies to develop and adapt ‘right’ solutions to thrive in the future.

In it to win it – together

Finally, the clear winners from this pandemic are those businesses – big or small, who like chameleons have adapted; reshuffling their production lines and catering to new needs. They have revived dormant potentials and created a new case for growth in taking risks and swimming against the tide.

It’s clear that this crisis will cull outdated practices. The desire to travel, to eat out, to be entertained, and to have experiences in person will always be there. Just don’t expect it to be delivered by the same brands, and by the same means.

Our resilience will be at the forefront of everything we do, yet only our agility will ensure competitiveness and help respond to the unexpected.


About the Organizer: Gulf Downstream Association

The Gulf Downstream Association (GDA) was established by its Founding Companies Saudi Aramco, Kuwait Petroleum International (KPI), Bahrain Petroleum Company (BAPCO), Kuwait National Petroleum Company (KNPC) and Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC). GDA is a pioneering, non-profit association and “point of reference” for all downstream players including industry professionals, corporate executives and legislators seeking to foster excellence and drive advancement through mutually beneficial engagement and industry collaboration. Read more here

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