Tuesday 18 January 2022

Middle East Iron and Steel Conference 2021 opens

Dubai, UAE, December 7, 2021

Middle East Iron and Steel Conference (MEIS 2021) being held at Grand Hyatt Dubai from 6 to 8 December 2021 was inaugurated by Omar Ahmed Suwaina Al Suwaidi, the UAE’s Undersecretary of the Ministry of Industry and Advanced Technologies (MoIAT).
Emirates Steel, the leading integrated steel manufacturer in the Middle East, is participating in the event as a Platinum Sponsor to boost international collaborations on the industry primary drivers of growth and discuss the regional steel market’s current challenges and potential opportunities. 
In his keynote speech, Al Suwaidi spoke about decarbonisation of steel industry. He emphasised that climate change and the impact of the Fourth Industrial Resolution require a fundamental shift in our thinking, and that one of the principal goals of the MoIAT is to facilitate this transition towards the 4IR and its disruptive technologies. 
“The Ministry launched UAE Industry 4.0 to accelerate the adoption of advanced technologies in our industrial sector. Through the UAE’s industrial strategy, the ministry is keen to meet national priorities and be a catalyst for growth, through a set of strategic objectives. This includes creating a suitable and attractive business environment for local and international investors in the industrial sector, supporting the growth of national industries while enhancing their competitiveness, and promoting innovation and adoption of advanced technology in systems and solutions. This will support the UAE’s position as a global destination for the industries of the future,” Al Suwaidi said.
“The use of technology is also a critical component of our National ICV program, redirecting public and private sectors’ procurement to the national industrial sector to expand its role and increase its growth opportunities, especially those companies that demonstrated a clear commitment to 4IR integration, R&D, and investment in developing the capabilities of the local workforce,” added Al Suwaidi.
“Steel industry accounts for 7% of all energy-related emissions, and it’s one of the three biggest producers of carbon dioxide. In last November, 40 world leaders pledged during COP26 to decarbonise five key sectors, and steel is one of them. This is an opportunity to lead and showcase the UAE’s leading position in this regard. We have many success stories such as capturing the CO2 emissions from Emirates Steel plants, adopting the Direst Reduction technologies by most of steel manufacturers, and shifting to more sustainable mobility solutions as well. The most recent statistics show that the metals sector contributes AED 34.4 billion in Manufacturing Added Value to the economy – which equates to 25.4% of the total MVA in the UAE industrial sector,” said Al Suwaidi.
Al Suwaidi stressed that decarbonisation will catalyse further industry innovation, accelerate the adoption of new technologies and create cleaner, and more sustainable steel products that can compete in global markets. “Our ability to find and refine solutions to these environmental challenges will define the iron and steel sector in the years and decades to come,” he concluded.
Participating in a panel discussion on ‘The State of the Steel Industry in the GCC Region’, Engineer Saeed Ghumran Al Remeithi, Group CEO of Arkan and CEO of Emirates Steel, highlighted the steel market challenges preceded Covid-19 pandemic, and how more intense it became during the pandemic, stressing that without taking fast and serious steps towards economic diversification, volatility is going to be stay for a while. 
“We had witnessed a drop in steel demand in 2020 in the GCC region due to the impacts of the pandemic. However, thanks to the enormous effort to speed up the vaccination pace and to support economic activities in the GCC region, and other global factors, the fiscal balances in major oil exporting countries will shift to sizeable surpluses in 2021 and 2022, and we started to see a rebound in steel demand from Q3 2020 onwards,” said Al Remeithi. 
Al Remeithi explained that tapping new sectors, exploring new means of finance and new expertise are key for any growth plans. the generous pipeline of construction and transport infrastructure projects across the GCC will generate steel demand in the medium term. 
“In the long term, economic growth will have different drivers; ongoing and new mega construction and railway projects will be accomplished, the private sector will play a more significant role, and GCC focus will shift to hospitality, digitalisation, telecommunication, industrialisation, clean energy, and sustainable mobility,” added Al Remeithi. 
“In the long term, the GCC domestic demand potential could rise, and we expect key structural changes in the future of the GCC steel market. There will be a shift from long steel to flat steel demand, increased green investments, a shift from construction-led growth to manufacturing, a shift to smart cities tapping the potential of mobility sector, a growing private sector involvement, more spending rationalisation and economic diversification, all of which will create new channels for projects’ finance and generate sizeable steel demand in the GCC region,” concluded Group CEO of Arkan and CEO of Emirates Steel.
At its pavilion, Emirates Steel showcased its high-quality product range – used in the construction numerous high-profile projects in the region and worldwide.--TradeArabia News Service


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