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Pivotal Role for Gulf and Middle East in Building Growth

Post Time:Mar 11,2009Classify:Industry NewsView:256

As we approach the opening of the Gulf Glass exhibition in Sharjah, UAE next Monday (16 March,10am), it is clear that keen interest remains focused on this region, not just close by but from all around the world.

Recent reports show why the GCC and wider Middle East will play a pivotal role in consolidation, recovery and growth. The recent CONNECT-World CEO Forum, for instance, addressed the issue and more than three-quarters of business leaders concluded that it was the Middle East that was set to lead the world out of today’s economic troubles.

The event’s founder and CEO pointed out that the long-term fundamentals that exist here did not simply disappear overnight and, indeed, investors actually see a great opportunity.

The Gulf Glass Event Director, Kevin Hudson, reinforced the point: “With our dedicated show, what is good for glass and for the Gulf is clearly also the keen focus for international suppliers looking to grow their businesses and others who wish rapidly to open up new markets.

“Naturally enough, important local groups such as MEEQUIP, Sahara and Corpotrade are putting on a big show, but I am gratified to see that highly respected names from all around the world are also participating in the 3rd Gulf Glass. Visitors will see top technologists from all around Europe (West and East), the Near/Middle East, North America, India and China.”

Construction news coming from the region in recent days looks on the face of it to provide some encouragement for flat glass production and glass processing. Further industrialisation, in fact, is playing its part. Not only are key production units scheduled for Saudi Arabia, but due to a wide range of factors countries such as Egypt, Iran, Iraq and Turkey are favourable host sites for manufacturing expansion.

General business concentration on the region is also playing its part. Recent local research indicates that there are over 150 office developments planned across the GCC with a value approaching US$16 billion. The UAE, home to Gulf Glass since its first days, accounts for over 100 of these while it’s reported that there are 21 projects due for completion in 2010 in Saudi Arabia and another 11 in Qatar.

“Not only does there remain underlying robustness in GCC and Middle East businesses,” said Kevin Hudson, “but clearly international trade leaders have decided that while things are increasingly difficult for them in many other areas, here lies activity and potential which will shape their strategies.

“It’s impossible to say exactly what this will mean for the region’s various glass sectors but I am sure its executives – the decision makers who drive the deals – will want to visit Gulf Glass next week and see just how the international suppliers there can help them maximise performance, productivity and profitability.”

Some moves, all with positive implications for construction and consumer glass, provide much more than crumbs of comfort. Local reports point up Marriott International’s plans for expansion in the region – brand new properties in Algeria, Egypt and Bahrain, three new properties in Qatar, nine in Saudi Arabia and 17 in the UAE.

Source: Gulf GlassAuthor: shangyi

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