Jafza has recorded a 6 per cent jump in the number of new companies in the Chemical and Oil & Gas sector in 2011, bringing the representation of the sector in Jafza to 421.
Together these companies generated trade worth Dhs45 billion in the year 2011, which is almost one-fifth of the total trade generated by over 6,700 companies in the Freezone. The sector has seen a growth of 32 per cent over the last three year, with the Chemical and Oil & Gas sector generating Dhs34 billion in 2009 alone.
These figures were at the heart of discussion during the recent Strategic Customer Forum for the Chemical and Oil & Gas companies in Jafza.
Upholding its promise to maintain strategic communication with its customers Jafza regularly holds Customer Strategic Forums, providing a platform for Jafza and its strategic partners to address market trends, sector-specific issues and initiate dialogue about how Jafza and its community can work together to maintain growth dynamism.
The Customer Forum for the Chemical and Oil & Gas sector is the second for this sector in a series of industry forums to be held at Jafza in 2012.
Ibrahim Al Janahi, Deputy CEO, Jafza in his keynote speech at the forum said: “The Chemical, Oil & Gas and Petrochemical industry is booming, not only in the Middle East but across the world, in spite of the global financial crisis. In 2011 demand for chemical and other oil derivatives was at its strongest ever level.
In line with this demand the Gulf petrochemical industry, between 2010 and 2011, increased production by 13.5 per cent. This is a good omen for the chemical and oil and gas sector in Jafza.
“Chemical and oil and gas is one of our key sectors. Economic recovery and a surge in demand for chemical products in our key export markets, the GCC, Africa, India and China, opens fantastic opportunities for Jafza companies. The Strategic Customer Forum focuses on the exchange of ideas with industry leaders, aiming to ignite dialogue on how we can work together to capitalise on these opportunities. This dialogue enables us to understand the changing needs and concerns of the industry and will enable us to better accommodate the growth of their businesses.”
Ibrahim Al Janahi referred in particular to a recently released Gulf Petrochemicals and Chemicals Association report throughout his keynote. The report highlights that in terms of growth the UAE leads the region, despite Saudi Arabia maintaining its number one ranking with regards volume.
Atiq Juma Nassib, Senior Director, Commercial Services Sector, Dubai Chamber, commented on the economic environment in Dubai, saying: “Dubai is seeing a number of green shoots that point towards a more optimistic outlook and economic growth. Trade, tourism, logistics and financial services are continuing to lead the economy and consumer expectations are high, based on improving business conditions and more jobs becoming available.
“Our members’ trade during the first eight months of the year has been strong and reached a new record of Dhs181 billion, which is a 12 per cent increase on the same period in 2011. Meanwhile, our membership has risen to over 135,000 companies.
“Dubai Chamber’s focus is on strengthening the emirate’s connectivity with key high growth markets and we are currently in the process of opening our first overseas representative offices by the end of this year. This is a new and innovative approach and will help expand our membership base and provide improved accessibility in new markets for our members here in Dubai.”
Senior officials from top Chemical, Oil & Gas companies like Linde, Scott Bader, BASF, Ashland, Reda, SQM VITAS, Cabot, and Solvochem among others attended the forum.
Attending customers were given an update on the impressive growth in the sector with more specific focus on the work that was being done to find solutions to issues raised by the industry leaders at the previous forum including possibilities of further expansion closer to the main infrastructure.