Steel sector vital to economic diversification of UAE
The steel sector is a vital component and a major contributor to the economic diversification agenda for the UAE and its transformation towards a knowledge-based economy, said Dr. Matar Al-Neyadi, undersecretary of the UAE Ministry of Energy and Industry at the Middle East Iron and Steel Conference 2019.
The conference brings professionals from the Middle East metals industry together to discuss current trends, challenges and opportunities within the regional and global steel markets. Emirates Steel is a platinum sponsor of the conference, demonstrating its commitment to the promotion of industry collaboration and knowledge sharing.
Al Neyadi noted that the sector has matured since its foundation decades ago, and that the Ministry of Energy and Industry is working closely with the steel sector to harness the potential of the 4th Industrial Revolution and stimulate downstream industries. "There is no doubt that coordinated actions are needed to address the current market challenges, however, looking further ahead, regional investments in hospitality, healthcare, education and infrastructure are likely to continue on an ever-growing scale. From Expo 2020 to numerous other mega-projects within the region, opportunities exist for companies able to offer unique products, services and solutions that enhance sustainability and incorporate 4IR technologies and innovations."
Saeed Ghumran Al Remeithi, CEO of Emirates Steel, said: "This is an important convention for us to attend, given that we are at a currently febrile moment in the global and regional steel markets. Internationally, we have seen the implementation, and now entrenchment, of national protectionist trade policies, which impact iron and steel manufacturers' capability to share product with their customers and identify markets with capacity for their product. Further, we are seeing slow-down in certain sectors and industries which are impacting companies' demand for product. The current Chinese real estate sector slow-down and a deceleration of global automotive production are areas of concern for steel manufacturers. However, there are areas of as yet unfulfilled demand, most notably in South East Asia, with a range of real estate and construction projects coming online in the near future."
He said that the GCC construction sector continues to offer strong opportunities for growth for the steel sector, with Expo 2020 in the UAE; Al Qiddiya, the Red Sea Project, and the NEOM project in Saudi Arabia; and the King Hamad Causeway Project in Bahrain, all producing rich opportunities for growth in the metals sector. However, as other major infrastructure projects are coming to completion, demand is expected to drop.