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Ideal platform for setting up industries.

MANAMA: Gulf Industry Fair (GIF) buzzed with activity with some international players boosting their presence in the Middle East as others closed in on multi-million-dollar deals.

The event has provided an ideal platform for several industries to set up units in the region besides emerging as a strong catalyst for business.

Apart from networking, the show presented the region's industrial sector with an opportunity to highlight its products and services and interact with international players.

Hit by the economic downturn in the Western markets, companies from East Europe and the US have used the fair to tie up with Bahraini businesses to sell their products and services in the region.

MetalTek International, a US-based company producing high-tech petrochemical furnace components, centrifugal castings and high alloys, has decided to shift its focus from the US and European markets and concentrate on the Middle East.

MetalTek Petrochemical Products director Patrick Ryan said his company signed an agreement at the fair with Bahrain-based International Technical Supplies and Services to market its products in Bahrain and Saudi Arabia.

"Next week we will sign an agreement with Mannai Corporation to distribute our products in Qatar and Abu Dhabi," he said.

"As the market in the US for petrochemical components is undergoing a 14 to 15 per cent contraction, we thought this is the right opportunity to take our business to the Middle East.

"We are also planning to set up a joint-venture unit in the Gulf. The location would be finalised on the basis of the market survey that we are currently conducting," he said, adding that initially the firm plans to invest between $2 million and $4m on the high-tech fabrication unit.

Byelorussian Steel Works, a producer of steel from the Republic of Belarus, plans to open a representative office in Dubai.

Head of marketing Vladimir Chaus said the firm, which produces 2.5m tonnes of steel products per year, expects to do a lot of business in the region.

"We export our products to 73 countries worldwide," he said.

"The Middle East will be our focus from now on," he said, adding that the exhibition has helped his company explore ways to build partnerships in Bahrain.

Spain's Taim Weser GCC sales manager Helmut Eppich said that the company has been doing good business in the region since it set up shop in Bahrain last May.

"We are in the final stage of negotiations on a $70m materials handling equipment contract with Saudi Aramco for the Jubail export refinery," he said.

"Also, we are in talks with a logistics group for supply of logistics equipment valued at over $100m."

A number of companies from East Europe have tied up with Bahrain's Mimco Group to explore the possibilities of doing business in the Middle East.

Copyright 2009 Gulf Daily News

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Publication:Gulf Daily News (Manama, Bahrain)
Date:Jan 17, 2010
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