It is my pleasure to welcome you to our sixth annual sustainability report; evidence of our achievements and milestones. We are committed to making a positive contribution to Qatar’s economy, environment, and society. We hope to continue to play an active role in Qatar’s sustainable development over the years to come.
Our corporate strategy is aligned with Qatar National Vision 2030. We take pride in our role and capacity to deliver economic growth and diversification of the national economy in non-oil sectors. We play a critical role in Qatar’s infrastructure development, reflected by the year over year increase of rebar demand of 18%, 29% and 18% respectively between 2014 and 2016. Qatar’s economic progress and the success of Qatar Steel are inextricably connected.
Qatar Steel has an 85% market share domestically as of 2016. Nevertheless, we are consistently meeting the challenges of competition and cheap imports from China and Turkey in GCC, which have driven product prices down 22% since 2012. We shall retain our position as the supplier of choice by building on our successful efforts to develop the strategic relations with our customers, provide timely deliveries, and focusing on customer service. We also aim to significantly expand our export business by introducing more value-added products to the market.
Our corporate sustainability requires on-going efforts to improve our performance. We continue to optimize operations by ensuring effective and efficient deployment of our resources. This includes re-configuring some processes, upgrading technology, improving labour scheduling, innovation, simplifying and clarifying departmental hierarchies and workforce communications, as well as setting team/departmental goals and governance targets. These efforts should result in expanding the scope of our ethical practices, increasing our operating income, and delivering even higher cost reductions.
Despite headwinds in the global steel industry, Qatar Steel’s efforts over the past two years have begun to bear fruit for a better tomorrow. Qatar Steel is leaner, and more efficient than ever, which makes us well positioned for sustainable growth in the years ahead. We will accelerate our efforts to evolve our operations and strengthen our corporate structure.
2017 promises to be another year of progress for Qatar Steel and our stakeholders. We are committed to our role as a national leader, driving a more sustainable future for Qatar.