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Bahrain to host major regional industry expo

MANAMA: The region's industrial sector will come under the spotlight at the Gulf Industry Fair 2008, which will be held at the Bahrain International Exhibition Centre.

This international and comprehensive event is being organised by Bahrain's Hilal Conferences and Exhibitions (HCE), in co-operation with Hannover Messe International, the organiser of the world's biggest industrial event, the Hannover Messe Fair.

The fair, from January 15 to 17 next year, will be made up of seven components, each spotlighting a different area; Gulf Aluminium, Gulf Metal, Gulf Energy, Gulf Automation, Gulf Metrology, Gulf Logistics and Gulf Manufacturing.

The event is the first industrial exhibition aimed at providing the rapidly expanding economies of the GCC states with a unique forum dedicated to the industrial and related sectors, said Al Hilal Group managing director Ronnie Middleton.

"Investment in industry in general over the next 15 years will reach staggering proportions,' he told a Press conference at the Ritz-Carlton Bahrain Hotel and Spa yesterday.

"The planned investment in the oil and gas sector alone in the Arab Gulf countries will reach almost $900 billion, whilst infrastructure investment, including power and water will hit over $320bn.

"Investment in manufacturing industry throughout the GCC states over the same period of time is currently estimated at over $400bn and all of these figures are based on what is known as of today.

"The launch of our fair represents the first time that a totally comprehensive, industry-related exhibition has ever been staged in this region."

Gulf Aluminium will highlight Bahrain's leading industrial initiative and cover aluminium production as well as downstream industries and products.

Gulf Metal will provide a forum for companies involved with metal production from rolling steel to metal engineering and coatings.

Gulf Energy will feature companies and products involved with renewable and conventional energy, power generation, pipeline technology and water and waste technologies as related to industrial development.

"Our fourth component is Gulf Automation, which will focus on process technology, factory technology and automation in general," continued Mr Middleton.

"Gulf Metrology covers instrumentation and controls for industrial facilities and Gulf Logistics introduces the all-important vital industry-related sector of transportation, material handling, cargo and shipping.

"Gulf Manufacturing will provide manufacturers in the region with an opportunity to showcase their products in this unique business-to-business environment."

The fair will also include a special focus dealing with Industrial Areas and Free Trade Zones.

"Throughout this region, as well as internationally, countries are trying to attract industrial projects, setting up special areas and tax-free environments to encourage industrialists to locate their companies and facilities in specific zones," said Mr Middleton.

"The Gulf Industry Fair provides the opportunity for these special industrial zones to meet with industrialists and investors from the region and internationally."

Hilal already stages the highly successful gulfBid exhibition in co-operation with another leading international exhibition organiser dmg world media.

The company is also the leading regional trade publisher.

"Al Hilal Group's titles include three key publications, all market leaders and all relevant and vitally important to the marketing success of the fair," said Mr Middleton.

"Gulf Construction Magazine was established 27 years ago and today is the region's most successful trade title.

"Gulf Industry is the Middle East's only industrial journal and has reported on the industrial and related sectors of the Gulf for the last 16 years.

"Oil & Gas News has been reporting on the oil and gas sector of the region as well as the Far East for over 20 years.

"All of these titles, together with the group's daily newspapers and leading portal, will help market the Gulf Industry Fair to individuals with a serious interest in the Gulf's Industrial sector."

Hannover Messe International managing director Andreas Luttman believes that Bahrain is the perfect place for such an event, being closely linked to the neighbouring markets.

"Given a very dynamic economic development in the Middle East region, many companies from around the world have strong interest in participating at professional trade shows, in order to display their state-of-the-art technology to potential customers," he said.

"Especially in the field of industrial manufacturing technologies, we expect a substantial increase of demand in the Middle East.

"As a first step, Hannover-Messe International is going to promote the sub-events Gulf Aluminium 2008 and Gulf Metal 2008 concentrating on Europe and Asia.

"We are convinced that the Middle East can transform into an industrial powerhouse."

His company specialises in coordinating national and international pavilions at non-proprietary trade shows around the world.

"This is carried out on behalf of such clients as the trade promotion agencies of assorted European governments (including German state governments), or national and international industrial and professional associations," said Mr Luttman.

"Due to our many years of experience in trade fair management all over the world, the available know-how, infrastructure and resources our international contacts ended up in a significant number of co-operations and strategic alliances with partners in several countries and various topics to strengthen both sides competence.

"Hannover-Messe International is a member of the Deutsche Messe Group of Companies - one of the most successful exhibition companies in the world, with over 800 permanent staff, representation in 70 countries and a large portfolio of leading international trade fairs."

HCE conferences and exhibitions general manger Abdulla Shafeea said that many visitors were expected from Saudi Arabia.

"The majority of industrial facilities in the region are located in Saudi Arabia and northern Gulf countries and Bahrain's business-friendly atmosphere and strategic location make for an ideal venue for this important event," he said.

United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO) Investment and Technology Promotion Office (ITPO) Bahrain will be an official supporter of the fair.

UNIDO-ITPO head Dr Hashim Hussein said that the organisation would actively promote the event throughout its 19 offices in Brazil, Belgium, China, France, Greece, Italy, Japan, Poland, Korea, Russian Federation, Turkey, United Kingdom, Jordan, Morocco, Tunisia and Egypt.

"UNIDO-ITPO's through its exhibition stand will present its programmes and initiatives and provide linkages with world renowned Industrial technology providers," he said.



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