DUBAI: The UAE is self-sufficient to cater to the current demand of 3.5 to 4 million tonnes of steel annually,” said Bharat Bhatia, CEO of Conares, the second largest private steel rebar manufacturer in the UAE.
He added the UAE Ministry of Economy (MoE) has been adopting the best course of actions to ensure that local steel manufactures perform well in the market and contribute to the economy. “However, we seek stronger support from the government to mitigate the damage to the local steel producers. This is because the ‘Made in UAE’ steel products are more reliable than imports. We are closer to the market than foreign manufactured products that usually take at least 30 days to arrive in the UAE. The UAE traders are keen on buying locally, save inventory costs and avoid price fluctuations.”
Bhatia discussed several matters including safeguarding duty on rebars and imposed duty on steel pipes with Abdallah Al Shamsi, Assistant Undersecretary for Industrial Affairs, and Karim Toumi, International Trade Law Expert at the Ministry of Economy during their visit to Conares’ steel manufacturing facilities in Jebel Ali Free Zone (Jafza) in Dubai on Wednesday.
Al Shamsi said, “It was interesting to visit the state-of-the-art steel rebar and pipe manufacturing plants of Conares in Jafza. We are happy to extend additional support, as the ‘Made in UAE’ products have not only gained market wide acceptance but also are preferred choice of many prestigious projects in the country today.”
“We are constantly monitoring such industries in the UAE, as this promotes the ‘Made in UAE’ products, establishing the country’s commitment towards industrialisation and eventually contributing to the growth of UAE economy. The GCC countries continue studying the options to raise the tariffs on imported steel, aimed at helping protect local steel producers from cheap imports. We have traditionally kept steel tariffs low to facilitate local building booms. There are lot of measures in plan to control dumping of cheaper steal products from some countries, as this puts local steel producers at a tremendous disadvantage,” Al Shamsi added.
Bhatia further said, “The government’s initiatives to promote local manufactured products has strengthened producers to meet the requirements of the traders aggressively. This has benefitted all the stakeholders across the supply chain within the construction industry. To continuously encourage the steel manufacturers, it is required to implement regulatory measures like safeguard duty that could possibly cover a range of steel products.”
Imposed duty on steel pipes
“It is not in the key agenda for the UAE to approach the World Trade Organisation (WTO) for imposing anti-dumping charges levied on steel pipes in the wake of the US International Trade Commission’s earlier decision against the UAE and some other countries for allegedly exporting the pipes to the US for less than fair value. Approaching the WTO is just one of the options, as there are certain mechanisms needed to be in place before going to the Organisation,” Al Shamsi said.