HRH the Premier opens the fair
Million-dollar deal kicks off GIF 2012
Manama, February 7, 2012
The Gulf Industry Fair 2012 (GIF 2012) got off to a flying start with a Bahrain-based company winning a deal worth $1 million on the opening day itself.
The show was inaugurated by His Royal Highness Prince Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa, Prime Minister of Bahrain, at the Bahrain International Exhibition and Convention Centre (BIECC) this morning.
The deal was signed between Hull Diving Services Company (HDSCo) of Bahrain and TE SubCom of the US for subsea inspection and cable routing services.
The fair has more than 100 exhibitors from 21 countries representing key sectors of aluminium, energy and environmental protection, industrial processes and manufacturing, security and safety, ports, logistics and free zones, steel and alloys, and training for industry.
Organised by Hilal Conferences & Exhibitions (HCE), part of the Bahrain-based Al Hilal Group, the fair has received a tremendous response from exhibitors and visitors despite challenging economic global conditions and Bahrain’s political unrest.
Noting that the exhibition has been growing in size and stature each year, the Premier said this reflected Bahrain’s prowess in hosting such “major shows” as these.
The Premier said that Bahrain encouraged investment especially in the industrial sector, while offering key advantages such as easy access to raw materials.
“We have a huge aluminium industry which has benefited ancillary industries and we hope that their numbers will continue to rise,” he said. “We have the industrial area in Hidd where both heavy and light industries are being set up and we will continue to support industrial development.”
Thanking the Prime Minister for his patronage, HCE managing director Jubran Abdulrahman said the show, now in its fifth edition, was a clear indication of industrial growth “not only in Bahrain but also across the entire region, considering that the show was targeting all of the Northern Gulf especially “next-door neighbour Saudi Arabia”.
“There were deals signed in the first few hours of the show and we anticipate a good visitor turnout,” he said. “The show provides an opportunity for exhibitors and visitors to meet and network.”
“The Prime Minister said Bahrain needs such shows in order to portray the kingdom as a professional hub to hold trade expos. We have the right components including strategic location close to Saudi Arabia, which is the industrial powerhouse of the region. We are also a logistics hub for a number of majors. We should build on these strengths for the future of the kingdom,” he said.
Al Hilal Group chairman Anwar Abdulrahman said the exhibition has grown 15 per cent compared to last year, despite the situation in Bahrain.
“Bahrain has got a tremendous future in industry because we have a new generation of graduates in technology who are determined to succeed,” he said adding that high technology IT skills can make any nation an industrial power, if “one has the will to go the extra mile internationally”.
Aluminium Bahrain (Alba) chairman Mahmood Hashim Al Kooheji said the company was delighted to be the main sponsor of GIF. “We want to demonstrate how big Bahrain’s aluminium sector is,” he said.
“Alba, which has one of biggest smelters in the world, has developed a huge (downstream) industry that has created lots of jobs and has become a major player in the economy of the kingdom. We hope these downstream industries will develop further, which will create jobs and add value to the economy.”
Arab Ship Building and Repair Yard (Asry) CEO Chris Potter said GIF 2012 helps showcase Asry’s role in the development of Bahrain as a shipping and logistics hub.
Bahrain International Investment Park (BIIP) project director Gerry Sharkey said: “We have been very busy during the last six months. Our pipeline of business is very strong for the next five to six years. BIIP is seeing business coming from Europe, primarily Germany. Indian companies are also coming to BIIP. Even strong Bahraini companies are setting up higher-end manufacturing facilities at the park. All these will help build a strong business base for the kingdom.”
“Exhibitions like this help highlight what we are doing,” he added. GIF 2012 continues on February 8 and 9. – TradeArabia News Service