Gulf aluminium industry in spotlight
Dubai, March 8, 2011
More than 250 executives and government officials gathered at the Meydan Hotel, Dubai, for a special dinner organised by the Gulf Aluminium Council - the first event in a planned annual series of such gatherings.
The guest of honour and keynote speaker was UAE Minister for Foreign Trade Shaikha Lubna Al Qasimi.
In her address, she stressed the importance of the aluminium industry for the UAE in particular and the Gulf region in general.
'Our persistence in broadening the economic contributions of our non-oil businesses has allowed us to enjoy sustained growth despite the global downturn,' she said.
'In fact, the UAE was ranked 19th among the world's top performing economies in terms of commodity exports by the World Trade Organisation in 2010.
'We also advanced two places to 16th in the Global Enabling Trade Report, prepared by the World Economic Forum for the same year, topping the list of Middle East and North African countries.'
She added that the UAE has been eyeing the aluminium trade in particular as a channel for advancing the country's efforts towards economic diversification and further enhancing its global competitiveness.
'The aluminium industry has become a major economic driver for the Gulf,' she said.
'In 2010, this economic sector produced three million metric tonnes of aluminium, employed around 11,100 people and made a contribution to the regional GDP of 4 to 12 per cent.
'Given the ongoing expansion of the downstream aluminium sector throughout the region, the economic impact promises to grow even further,' she added.-TradeArabia News Service