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Gulf's imports of machine tools are rising amid the ongoing
construction boom and a growing number of infrastructure
projects across the region, according to organisers of an
industrial machinery exhibition.
Imports of machine tools rising
By Shakir Husain, Staff
- Gulf News
Last year the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries imported
$943.45 million worth of machine tools, Expo Centre Sharjah
The UAE's share of these imports was estimated to be more than
Other Middle Eastern countries like Iran, Syria, Jordan and
Lebanon imported $1.73 billion worth of machine tools in 2005,
Expo Centre said in a report.
The rise in demand for machine tools in the Middle East is
linked to the region's increasing focus and investments on high
value infrastructure projects.
Sharjah Expo Centre estimates the value of project financing in
the Middle East would grow by 50 per cent, with key sectors
being power, water, oil and gas.
A recent research published by Dubai-based investment firm
Abraaj noted that in the first half of 2006, the Middle East
became the largest source of infrastructure-related project
finance in the world, accounting for $33 billion.
Abraaj said more than 200 privatisation plans have been
announced in the Middle East, North Africa and South Asia. It
expects the value of infrastructure projects to be offered to
the private sector in the three regions to reach $1 trillion in
the next 10 years.
Machine tool manufacturers from several countries are expected
to gather in Sharjah for the three-day SteelFab exhibition
starting on January 29.
"SteelFab will witness the Middle East's largest display of
Italian steel working machinery," said Saif Al Midfa,
director-general of Expo Centre Sharjah.