Bahrain readies for top industrial show
Manama, January 15, 2012
With less than a month to go before the curtain rises on the northern Gulf’s premier industrial trade show, preparations for the fifth Gulf Industry Fair (GIF) 2012 are being stepped up.
Challenging global market conditions have failed to dampen enthusiasm for the show, which will be held from February 7 to 9 at the Bahrain International Exhibition and Convention Centre (BIEC), with both exhibitors and merchant visitors eagerly anticipating the leading business-to-business (B2B) industrial trade gathering.
According to the organiser Hilal Conferences & Exhibitions (HCE), 110 companies from 20 countries had confirmed their participation in the show as of the end of 2011, encompassing the aluminium, energy and environmental protection, steel and alloys, ports, logistics and free zones, industrial processes and manufacturing, training for industry and industrial security and safety sectors.
This already surpasses the 107 exhibitors from 16 countries who took part in last year’s show, at which approximately $30 million-worth of business was concluded.
Jubran Abdulrahman, HCE’s managing director, said: “We are confident we have all the ingredients of another excellent show for exhibitors and visitors. As in previous years, the calibre of exhibitors is exceptional, with world-scale industrial pioneers sharing the floor with local, regional and international enterprises, specialist equipment suppliers, technological innovators, distributors and agencies all showcasing their products, fielding enquiries and, hopefully, signing deals!”
In keeping with previous years, HCE promises to blend proven concepts with new ideas at GIF 2012.
Adding a major new dimension to the show, some of Bahrain’s most ambitious and innovative small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) will demonstrate their capabilities at the fair for the first time. The emphasis on this growing and vibrant community of industry-related SMEs (many of whom serve the region’s industrial majors) follows an agreement signed earlier this year between HCE and Tamkeen, the independent authority entrusted with promoting entrepreneurship and jobs creation in Bahrain.
Under the terms of the initiative Tamkeen subsidises up to 80 per cent of the cost of eligible Bahraini companies participating in the fair, up to a maximum of BD15,000 for companies classified as ‘small’, and BD20,000 for companies classified as ‘medium-sized’.
Familiar concepts also return to GIF 2012. Building on their successful launch last year, and following excellent feedback from visitors and exhibitors alike, dedicated sector zones will again be a focal point at the BIEC.
GIF 2012 will feature three dedicated zones. Strategic partner Aluminium Bahrain (Alba), one of the world’s leading aluminium smelters, heads the Aluminium Zone, which also features key downstream companies including ITSS, Garmco, Balexco, Midal Cables, BRC Weldmesh, Metals of Bahrain, Bramco, Ameeri Industries and Turk Mechanical.
Other specialist zones have attracted similarly strong support. The Energy Zone is headed by Bahrain’s National Oil and Gas Authority (Noga), which is again a GIF strategic partner in association with Bahrain Petroleum Company (Bapco). Other prominent industries backing the Energy Zone include Hidd Power, Tebodin and Ahmed Al Kuwaiti. Global energy players such as Chevron and Skaugen Gulf are also acknowledging the fair’s importance with their participation.
The Ports & Logistics Zone is led by the General Organisation of Sea Ports of Bahrain, and is backed up by the award-winning Bahrain Logistics Zone, Arab Shipbuilding & Repair Yard (Asry) and Baytik Industrial Investments.
The Bahrain International Investment Park (BIIP) pavilion, supported by the Ministry of Industry and Commerce, will meanwhile use GIF to further showcase facilities and incentives to potential investors. As of the end of 2011, BIIP had 31 operational projects, with a further 21 under construction.
In the run up to its opening, GIF 2012 has been receiving accolades for its commitment to promoting the region’s industrial strengths and hub status.
Gulf Aluminium Council (GAC) secretary-general Mahmood Daylami said: “Gulf Industry Fair is considered by the GAC as part of its ongoing strategy to highlight the GCC as an aluminium hub. The GCC’s importance in the aluminium sector is growing with the expansion of smelters in the region and the growing downstream sector built on this increased production.”
Lending further prestige and credibility to GIF 2012 are British Expertise, which promotes British companies overseas, British Offset, and the German Arab Chamber and Machinery Trade International, who have all confirmed their support for the show. – TradeArabia News Service