The activities of the annual conference of the Arab Iron and Steel Union, entitled (13 rd Arab Steel Summit), kicked off today, Monday, with the participation of more than 220 Arab and foreign experts and officials in this sector, in the Jordanian capital, Amman.
The Jordanian Minister of Industry, Trade and Supply, Tariq Al-Hammouri, said in his speech during the opening of the conference, that this event represents an important platform for exchanging views and addressing the obstacles facing the process of developing this industry in the Arab world, as well as discussing how to confront the potential consequences of protectionist policies adopted by a number of of countries. His aspiration for the conference to come out with constructive and effective recommendations, stressing in this regard the importance of the iron and steel industry by supporting the national income of Arab countries and stabilizing their economic performance.
For his part, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Arab Iron and Steel Union, Awad Al-Khalidi, said in a similar speech that the Arab steel industry has achieved tangible steps after the growth of long steel products from 5 million to more than 60 million tons in 40 years.
Al-Khalidi, who is also the Chairman of the Board of Directors of the United Steel Industry Company (Kuwait Steel), added that “hopes and ambitions” are expanding for further growth and development to keep pace with the global development in this field. An important industry, pointing out at the same time that there are some challenges that stand in the way of these ambitions.
He explained that one of the most important challenges is “the Arab steel industry’s dependence on imported inputs of high cost, which weakens its ability to compete,” stressing the need to enhance the heavy reliance on scientific research and specialized studies to develop and improve products. quality, reduce costs and increase global competitiveness.
He stressed the importance of the Arab iron and steel industry’s dependence on building its own capabilities by launching large partnerships for growth and competition to overcome difficulties and challenges. He called for activating constructive dialogues that depend on innovation, creativity, practical achievement, and overcoming traditional frameworks.
For his part, Secretary-General of the Arab Iron and Steel Union, Dr. Kamal Joudi, said that despite the political and economic conditions in the Arab region, the iron and steel industry is still considered one of the most important strategic industries for the region.
In a similar interview, Joudi added that the iron and steel industry is witnessing a continuous increase in its production capacity despite the relative reduction policy adopted by countries to confront the decline in oil prices and revenues, which led to a new direction and a future vision. On the basis of local industry development and economic diversification.
Regarding the union’s plans to meet the challenges in the next stage, he stressed the importance of intensive coordination between iron producers and responsible authorities in the Arab countries to ensure the success of existing projects and preserve important investments in the iron and steel industry.
Joudi called for the exploitation of joint capabilities through the establishment of Arab projects, including “iron ore pelleting” to cover the needs of steel factories in the Arab world, and the need for producers to pay attention to the future of the industry beyond 2020, when many major projects are completed in some Arab countries.
The two-day conference, organized by the Arab Iron and Steel Union, will discuss in seminars, workshops and several axes focusing on the future prospects of the iron and steel industry in the Middle East, new technologies that help in the development of the industry, and opportunities. and investments in some Arab countries.
The conference will also discuss other important topics related to the challenges facing the industry in imposing customs duties, the impact of Chinese iron production on global and Gulf markets, and opportunities to reduce carbon dioxide emissions from the steel industry and maintain a clean environment.
The Arab Iron and Steel Union, which was established 45 years ago and has its general secretariat headquarters in Algeria, includes an entity that includes iron and steel factories and companies, with a membership of more than 90 factories. It also aims to develop the iron and steel industry and promote joint action in this field.