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Gulf Industry Fair to set new standards

Manama, January 13, 2013

Gulf Industry Fair (GIF) 2013, which opens its doors for three days at the Bahrain International Exhibition and Convention Centre on Tuesday, will set new standards for the region.

Held under the patronage of His Royal Highness Prime Minister Prince Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa, three adjectives will define this year’s event - innovative, interactive and informative

Since the 2012 edition of the Northern Gulf’s leading B2B exhibition of its type concluded last February, anticipation has been building among specialist industrial product and service providers, distributors and agencies - representing the aluminium, energy and environmental protection, steel and alloys, industrial processes and manufacturing, ports, logistics and free zones, training and security and safety segments - for this unique networking opportunity.

A core objective of GIF 2013 is to be a ‘business-enabler’ in a region where billions of dollars is being spent on industrial and infrastructure capacity building. Against this background, Fair organisers Hilal Conferences & Exhibitions (HCE) have made every effort to yet again deliver a show where real business is done and high caliber contacts are made in the Kingdom of Bahrain, a premier regional trade conduit.

This year HCE promises to raise the bar yet again, with priority given in particular to encouraging more meaningful and valuable engagement between exhibitors and visitors.

To this end, for the first time the fair will feature an innovative ‘Industry Week’ concept, which will include industry seminars and site visits to world-class industrial facilities.

The seminar series will be hosted by leading exhibitors including Aluminium Bahrain (Alba) and Bahrain Petroleum Company (Bapco), and will aim to share knowledge on the latest projects and trends with visitors.

Complementing the seminars, site visits will be organised for local university students, graduates and interested visitors. More than just a PR exercise to promote Bahrain’s world-class industrial capabilities and heritage, the visits will serve a broader strategic economic purpose by highlighting the sector as a viable and rewarding career option to the potential work force of the future.

Back at the buzzing BIECC, visitors will have the chance to witness new product launches and live demonstrations from almost 100 exhibiting companies, of which about a fifth are from overseas.

For the first time, a Dutch Pavilion will host 12 specialist companies showcasing the European country’s industrial expertise and heritage in oil and gas, water and electricity, process management, and training and education. The Pavilion is an initiative of the country’s consulate in Bahrain, working in partnership with two Dutch consultancies based in the Kingdom.

The overseas exhibitor contingent will also be represented by companies from Saudi Arabia, Germany, the UAE and the UK, all of whom will be looking to raise awareness of their capabilities and/or reinforce their market presence in the booming Northern Gulf.

Regional governments, keen to diversify their economies, have identified the industrial sectors as key future revenue drivers. New world-scale manufacturing projects, including aluminium smelters and petrochemical plants, are being built. New transport and logistics nodes are being created to connect new economic clusters, and port facilities and free zones are being expanded. Vibrant downstream sectors are evolving to support these developments.

As the region’s largest economy, Saudi Arabia will see the lion’s share of new industrial investment over the next few years. Business news and analysis magazine The Gulf recently reported that the industrial cities of Jubail and Yanbu now contribute about one tenth of overall national GDP, and 12.4 per cent of non-oil GDP. They also produce nine per cent of the world’s petrochemicals.

Investment in the twin cities is worth around $208 billion, around 65 per cent of all industrial investment in the Gulf Co-operation Council (GCC). Jubail alone has attracted more than $172.2 billion-worth of investment to date, and is currently being expanded – a $20 billion joint venture chemicals facility will be complemented by a further $5.6 billion-worth of projects approved by the Royal Commission in 2012.

The Saudi government’s current five-year development plan expects the share of manufacturing industries to rise to 14 per cent of GDP by 2014.

At Ras Al Khair, in the Eastern Province, Saudi Arabian Mining Company’s (Ma’aden) alumina refinery, aluminum smelter and rolling mill is expected to come on stream this year, according to reports, served by a new port.

Bahrain, Qatar and Kuwait are also prioritising industrial growth as part of their long-term economic strategy.

As in previous years, GIF 2013 will enjoy top-level support from luminaries including Bahrain’s National Oil and Gas Authority (Noga) in association with Bapco, Alba, and Majaal, a Bahrain-based SME-focused industrial facilities developer. Tamkeen (Labour Fund) also extended financial assistance to SME exhibitors, in a continuation of its successful ‘Tarweej’ growth assistance scheme which provides up to 80 per cent of participating costs to eligible companies.

HCE Managing Director Jubran Abdulrahman says GIF 2013 is held as GCC economies come of age.

“Governments are implementing the next phases of their industrial strategies, which will involve many hundreds of billions of dollars in investment and generate unprecedented business opportunities.

“Gulf Industry Fair’s appeal is that this ambitious economic foresight and momentum are reflected in its exhibitors. The added value is the show’s close proximity to the Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia in particular, and wider Northern Gulf in general, and the 2013 edition will be a reflection of this.” – TradeArabia News Service

Tags: Bahrain | Exhibition | Gulf Industry Fair | Prime Minister | Hilal Conferences |

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