The 16th Arab Steel Summit was held last Sunday in the Arab Republic of Egypt, which was organized by the Arab Iron and Steel Union in cooperation with Ezz Steel, under the patronage of His Excellency the Minister of Trade and Industry, Eng. Ahmed Samir. It is the largest and most important event for steel makers in the Arab world, under the slogan “Investment opportunities in the steel industry.” And steel in the Arab countries” with the participation of nearly 400 participants from major Arab companies and leading economists and businessmen, which gains special importance in light of the economic and geopolitical changes that the world is witnessing and their significant impact on the iron and steel industry.
In the opening session, the participants observed a minute of silence for the souls of the martyrs of Gaza, while condemning the Israeli aggression on the Gaza Strip, which resulted in thousands of deaths and injuries.
Mr. Awwad Al-Khalidi calls for integration and cooperation between Arab countries
The conference began with a welcome speech from the Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Arab Iron and Steel Union, Mr. Awwad Al-Khalidi, who called for rapprochement and integration, benefiting from Arab experiences and expertise, and learning about the latest developments in modern technology. He indicated that he hopes that the Union’s efforts will help develop this industry in the Arab countries.
Dr. Kamel Djoudi calls for the creation of an alternative Arab regional market in light of the global environmental restrictions
The Secretary General of the Arab Iron and Steel Union, Dr. Kamel Djoudi, said in his opening speech, “The Arab countries have come a long way in the steel industry, and Arab industrial companies based on iron and steel production are still developing this industry in order to take its natural position as an element of economic and social stability in the Arab world.” ”
He pointed out in his speech that the growth of the industry in recent years was largely dependent on huge government grassroots projects that encouraged and supported the local industry.
He called on Arab iron and steel companies to change their concept of relying on local markets, no matter how long it takes, and to work on developing their products with the latest innovations and technologies to be able to compete and enter new markets in light of the new global environmental restrictions that will limit the export capabilities of non-compliant Arab companies within the 2030 deadlines.
He said, “Therefore, we are committed to working together to deal with these challenges and turn them into opportunities for development and integration between us in order to achieve our ability to create an alternative Arab regional market that meets the ambitions of all Arab steel companies in light of the global regional blocs we are witnessing.”
Ahmed Ezz calls for solidarity with Gaza and investment in Egypt
Then Engineer Ahmed Ezz, founder and president of Ezz Steel, began his speech by calling for a minute of silence for the souls of the martyrs of Gaza, amid condemnation of the Israeli aggression on the Gaza Strip, which resulted in thousands of deaths and injuries, as an expression of the solidarity of the Arab steel manufacturers with the Palestinian people.
He reviewed the emergence of the Egyptian iron and steel industry, which began in 1917 with the geologist Labib Nassim, who discovered the first iron ores in southern Egypt. Until now, after the great successes brought about by investment in the iron and steel industry, estimated at 10 billion dollars, production capacities have reached 17 million tons through 7 Integrated factories and more than 30,000 thousand workers. Engineer Ahmed Ezz called on businessmen to invest together in Egypt’s economy, whether driven by industry or driven by construction. He said that the future is promising for development in Egypt through industrial investments and that it is more qualified than ever.
He pointed out that the iron and steel industry has made great strides, from producing 9 million tons in 2000 to 38 million tons in 2022. He pointed out that the Arab countries’ steel production is estimated at 2% of the world’s production, while the population is 7% of the world’s population, and the per capita share of Steel is still scarce, at about 100-110 km, compared to 480-490 km, the share of developed countries. Investment opportunities in the Arab region in the steel industry are great, as progress and economic growth are closely linked to the growth rate in the iron and steel industry.
At the end of his speech, he praised the Arab Iron and Steel Union and considered it a model of success, continuity, and great impact on its members.