Saudi Iron & Steel Conference highlighted ways to cooperate with decision makers to support iron and steel industry in the Gulf countries.
Business Bureau, Gulf Today
The first Saudi International Iron Steel Conference (SIISC) held in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. The Saudi International Iron and Steel Conference brought leaders of the iron and steel sector in the Mena region together to discuss both the current state of the Middle East steel market, alongside focusing on opportunities for future growth within the sector.
The conference also highlighted ways to cooperate with decision makers to support the iron and steel industry in the Gulf countries, where steel production capacity has increased to about 17 million tonnes by the end of 2018, and is expected to reach 19 million tonnes by the end of 2020.
The conference featured a large gathering of global steel industry leaders and the industry experts showcased its extensive range of products to customers from across the GCC.
The event, which held from Sept.16-18, 2019 is organised by KSA National Committee for Steel Industry.
It covered topics like Outlook of GCC iron and steel industry, Outlook for Arab region steel demand and investments into new production capacity, The challenge of rising production costs and how to handle them.
Paolo Rocca, CEO & Chairman of Tenaris, a leading supplier of tubes and related services for the world’s energy industry and other industrial applications, participated in the first ever Saudi Iron & Steel Conference in Riyadh.
Speaking on the panel themed ‘Saudi’s Potentially Pivotal Role in Global Steel’, he focused on the considerable investment into steelmaking and the processing capacity recently seen in Saudi Arabia as the country focuses on becoming more self-sufficient.
The two day conference, organised by Saudi Arabia’s National Committee for Steel Industry, saw a large gathering of global industry leaders attend exhibitions and workshops about the transformation of the Kingdom’s economy and opportunities for its steel industry.
During his speech, Rocca tackled three major points required to develop the industrial sector in Saudi Arabia: Firstly, the willingness of the Saudi government to defend local content and take concrete actions to promote the growth of local manufacturing, in order to support the energy and construction sectors. Rocca cited the example of the new United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement. Previously, the US proposed that only vehicles with 62.5 per cent US content by value be allowed to enter the US duty-free. However, under current North American Free Trade Agreement rules, vehicles must have at least 75 per cent regional value content enter the US duty-free - with at least 70 per cent of steel produced in the region- in order to have access to the intra-trade.
Secondly, Rocca made a point on the regional approach to grow manufacturing in the GCC countries, building on the strong oil & gas value chain that the whole region has.
Lastly, Rocca highlighted the investments that the Saudi government has been promoting in education, as well as how it has been strengthening the human resource base within the Kingdom. He added: “Youth accounts for approximately 70 per cent of the country’s population. These are the people who are willing to learn and to drive the transformation and the growth of the local industry”.
Commenting on Tenaris’s participation, Rocca stated: “We are honored to have been invited to take part in Saudi’s first ever Iron & Steel Conference as we continue to expand our footprint and lend our expertise to the Kingdom’s steel industry. There is a great deal of potential in Saudi Arabia for further investment into value-added steel production to support the kingdom’s drive for economic diversification and cement its place as the regional steelmaking hub.”
Emirates Steel, the only integrated steel plant in the UAE and a subsidiary of the General Holding Corporation (SENAAT), participated in the First Saudi International Iron & Steel Conference, of which it is its Rhodium Sponsor. At the conference, held in the King Faisal International Conferences Hall at the Intercontinental Hotel in Riyadh from Sept.16-18, Emirates Steel showcased its extensive range of products to customers from across the GCC. Eng. Saeed Ghumran Al Remeithi, CEO of Emirates Steel said: “At Emirates Steel, we are excited with the participation in the conference, and met with steel manufacturers from across the region. We are proud to be a Rhodium Sponsor of this event, which provides opportunities for the sector to discuss its current status and is particularly pertinent given the current conditions of the global steel market.
“This conference gave us an excellent opportunity for us to discuss the needs of customers in the GCC region, alongside the outlook for regional steel demand and new innovations in steel production.”