US firms eye ME building boom to flee recession
Dubai, September 21, 2008
American manufacturers of plant, machinery and construction vehicles are looking to the building boom in the Middle East to hedge their stocks against the continuing recession in the United States.
Indicative of the troubles in the US construction industry, the Dow Jones US Heavy Construction Index has seen a 40 per cent plunge in the last year from 698.76 points down to 402.54.
With greater drops predicted, US construction companies are aiming to increase their Middle East sales to save their profit margins.
Highlighting this new focus on non-American markets, Rick Eisminger, international marketing manager of Iowa based on-site cement mixing truck manufacturers, CemenTech, said: “Currently the Middle East accounts for less than five per cent of our total sales, but we plan to increase that to 20 per cent in the next few years.”
CemenTech have committed to their first-ever Middle East exhibition appearance at the 'Big 5 PMV,' the region’s premier plant, machinery, and construction vehicle event taking place from November 23 to 27 at the Dubai International Exhibition Centre.
Organisers Streamline Marketing Group have created a dedicated US pavilion at this year’s show for the first time.
“We’re taking part because, by putting us together with key developers and contractors in the region, it offers American companies an excellent opportunity to break into the Middle East market and take advantage of the construction boom there,' Eisminger added.
A strong US presence at the Big 5 PMV will be of particular interest to local and international businesses based in the Gulf who are displaying growing interest in American companies, particularly in light of the competitive rates they can offer due to the low US dollar.
“US companies make dependable trading partners because we have several decades of successful collaboration with the Middle East,” said Woody Nash, director of Business Development, Boomerang Systems, New Jersey. “It also helps that the dollar is weak compared to the Euro.”
“Taking part in the Big 5 PMV, the biggest and best construction tradeshow in the Middle East for plant, machines and construction vehicles, is a great way to build relationships through face-to-face contact with prospects,” added Nash, whose company is a leading manufacturer of automated robotic parking garages and automated self storage systems.
Catering to the growing interest in US based plant, machinery and construction vehicle companies, the US pavilion will feature many high end companies from across the country, including New York-based Technology Trading Group, suppliers of concrete paving equipment and California-based FrameMax.
“We are setting up operations in the Middle East market and looking for exposure of our fast build, light gauge steel concrete composite panel system,” said Phil Ellis of FrameMax, San Diego, California, who is joining the Big 5 PMV for the first time.
“The dedicated US pavilion gives us the opportunity to realize our future plans to expand through the Middle East.”
Currently, the UAE is the single largest export market for US goods and services in the Arab world, and US exports to the UAE have expanded four-fold from 2000 to 2007.
UAE customers purchased more than $11.6 billion in US goods in 2007, including civilian and military aircraft, automobiles, communications, information technology, infrastructure and oil service products.
In addition, UAE exports to the US rose by 38 percent between 2000 and 2007, from $971.7 million to $1.339 billion.-TradeArabia News Service