At the invitation of Qatar Steel, the Board of Directors of Arab Iron and Steel Union (AISU) held its regular session meeting No. 107, and its General Assembly’s regular session meeting No. 46, on 19th and 20th May, 2013, at the Marriott Hotel in Doha.
Representatives of 50 steel companies from 16 Arab countries, who are members of the Union’s Board of Directors, attended the meetings.
The Agenda of Union’s Board Meeting included a review of the General Secretary’s report, on the Union’s activities and the most important updates with respect to Arab and world steel industry.
The report also included the decisions and recommendations made by the Board of Directors at its sessions 105 and 106, and the General Assembly at its 44th and 45th regular sessions, held in Cairo-Arab Republic of Egypt.
The Agenda also included the memorandum submitted by the Secretariat about the date and venue of holding Arab Steel Summit for 2013 and 2014, as well as a memo presented by the Board’s Chairman about opening a regional office in the Arabian Gulf region. The final budget and the auditor’s report for the year 2012 were also discussed.
The participants in the meetings focused on the importance and necessity of cooperation, coordination and integration among steel producers to face all the challenges facing the Arab steel industry, resulting from the inclination of raw materials’ exporters to raise the prices of raw materials and supplies to a higher percentage. Consequently, the production cost has been significantly increased and the steel producers are forced to raise the prices of their products, to cope with the increase of the imported raw materials prices, which in turn leads to the dissatisfaction of consumer. The participants also stressed on depending, at least partially, on local raw materials, with a view to reduce the production cost.
They also discussed the importance of implementing environment-friendly projects and the necessity for reducing emissions and energy conservation, and to incorporating such issues in the future programs set for steel mills expansions in the region.
Mohamed El Aid El Achkar, Secretary General of the Arab Iron and Steel Union delivered a speech at the inauguration of the 46th regular session of the General Assembly, highlighting the role of steel industry in the economic development, creating jobs and large investments.
Mr. El Achkar called on providing the right conditions and potentials that would help the Arab steel industry to be more competitive in the future through the establishment of industries based on using steel products.
In turn, Mr. Khalid Ahmed Al Qadiri, Chairman of Arab iron and Steel Union, stressed the need for coordination and cooperation among the steel producers in Arab countries to face the challenges, and to intensify the research and development, on a scientific and economical basis, in order to increase, as much as possible, the reliance on local raw materials, and to develop the production technology, in a way that leads to reducing the production cost.
He added that there has been an increase in the demand for steel products in the Arab region, due to an increase of mega development projects, that are being implemented, which made the investment rates in this sector the highest among other Arab industrial sectors, and the Arab Steel recorded high growth rates.
In his welcoming speech, Mr. Ali Bin Hassan Al-Muraikhi, Director and General Manager of Qatar Steel declared that the steel industry is one of the most important basic industries in the State of Qatar, which forms along with oil and gas-based industries the main nerve and the backbone of the national economy of the country, and stated that the sector iron and steel has witnessed a boom and a significant growth in the past years.
Qatar Steel is the most important subsidiary of Industries Qatar (IQ), which is considered as the main pillar of the country’s industrial sector that significantly contributes to meeting the steel needs of the domestic and GCC markets.
Mr. Al-Muraikhi stressed that Qatar Steel, which is one of the leading national steel companies, is working side by side with other Union’s members, to achieve the main objectives of developing cooperation and strengthening coordination and integration among the members of the Union in all fields, calling for the need to strengthen the competitiveness of the Arab Steel industry, and to strive for the success and prosperity of the industry and its integration on both local and Arab levels, through the establishment of several expansions, and various investments, which requires reliance on using the latest and advanced technology, in order to meet the needs of infrastructure projects, housing and construction projects, and to reduce depending on steel imports from abroad.