December 2019

Gulf Industry Magazine helps you catch up with the numbers behind economic and industrial developments in the region.

Manufacturing adds 12pc to Abu Dhabi’s GDP

THE manufacturing activities contributed 12.1 per cent to Abu Dhabi’s non-oil GDP in 2018, ranking first among 17 major activities, a media report said.

“Activities in Abu Dhabi’s manufacturing sector have increased over the recent years, ranking second in terms of growth rate, at 5.9 per cent, in 2018,” Rashid Abdul Karim Alblooshi, Undersecretary of Department of Economic Development-Abu Dhabi was quoted as saying in a Wam report.

He was speaking at the 18th session of the General Conference of the UN Industrial Development Organization (Unido) in the UAE capital. “Foreign investors have continued to flock to the domestic manufacturing industry over the recent years. The volume of FDI inflows in the manufacturing sector in 2018 was estimated at 20.3 percent. It ranked second in terms of relative importance after the construction sector,” he noted.

The recognised performance of the manufacturing sector’s activities was due to the high growth rates of major activities in 2018 comprising the non-metallic mineral products, 19.5 percent, and basic pharmaceutical products, 13.8 per cent, he indicated.

“Abu Dhabi was ranked 69th in 2018 in the Innovation Cities Index of Think Now 2, an Australian company specialising in innovation research and studies, garnering a total score of 43 points. The capital has also been named an ‘Innovation Hub.’ Moreover, Abu Dhabi ranked second globally as the best city to live, work, and do business in, according to Ipsos City Index 2017.

“These achievements are the result of the emirate’s investment-friendly environment and attractive incentives for industrial investment. We can see clearly that the Abu Dhabi Government prioritizes, among other things, the industrial sector as part of its move to boost the economic contributions of the local non-oil sectors according to Abu Dhabi Economic Vision 2030. As a result, a myriad of opportunities in the field of research, development, innovation, and trade is continuously being generated.”


Metals, Mining merger deals down 63pc

THE merger and acquisitions deals in the global metals and mining industry in September fell  by 63.4 per cent to hit $1.9 billion from the last year’s figure of $5.18 billion, according to GlobalData’s deals database.

The value marked a decrease of 6.7 per cent over the previous month, it stated. Comparing deals value in different regions of the globe, Asia-Pacific held the top position, with total announced deals for the period worth $1.37 billion.

At the country level, China topped the list in terms of deal value at $1.34 billion. In terms of volumes, North America emerged as the top region for metals & mining industry M&A deals globally, followed by Asia-Pacific and then South and Central America, stated the report.

The top country in terms of M&A deals activity in September was Canada with 28 deals, followed by Australia with 18 and the US with 14. In 2019, as of the end of September 2019, metals & mining M&A deals worth $36.46 billion were announced globally, marking a decrease of 55.1 per cent year on year.

The top five metals & mining industry M&A deals accounted for 77.4 per cent of the overall value during September 2019, said the report. The top five metals & mining industry deals of September 2019 tracked by GlobalData were:

According to GlobalData, the combined value of the top five metals and mining M&A deals stood at $1.47 billion, against the overall value of $1.9 billion recorded for the month.


Saudi healthcare market to reach $13.6bn by 2020

WITH its population touching 30 million and state-of-the-art hospitals, both private and public, booming, the healthcare market in Saudi Arabia is expected to reach SR51.2 billion ($13.6 billion) in 2020, according to industry reports.

As is the pharmaceutical manufacturing sector, which will double local production capacities by 2023, it added.

Industry reports suggest just around 20 per cent of the drugs consumed in the country is made locally, and the National Transformation Programme (NTP) is working to boost the proportion of local pharmaceutical manufacturing to 40 per cent by the end of 2020.

The market outlook also suggests that the country’s pharma market value will reach SR40.1 billion ($10.69 billion) by 2023. This, coupled with initiatives under Saudi Vision 2030 to open the healthcare sector for privatisation will give a considerable impetus to pharmaceutical and biotechnology research and development, as well as create a much competitive and high-quality healthcare sector.

Saudi Arabia’s healthcare sector will see the most crucial transition in the upcoming years as the government, which had been the largest provider until now, will slowly take on the role of a regulator as more and more private providers enter the market.

With increasing cases of non-communicable diseases such as cardiovascular diseases, cancer, chronic respiratory disease, diabetes and obesity that require long-term treatment and medication, there is much room for investments for the global and regional pharmaceutical players.


Middle East key market for European apple trade

THE fruit market in the GCC reached over 20,000 metric tonnes in 2016 and is predicted to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 5.6 per cent until 2024, according to the latest market research.

Interfel, the French fresh fruit and vegetable interprofessional organisation responsible for promoting the consumption of apples in the Middle East together with the European Union, hosted an exclusive event for top local buyers and key importers, in Dubai, UAE. Showcasing the high quality of European apples, the event coincided with Interfel’s participation at this year’s WOP Dubai (World of Perishables) Expo in Dubai.

According to the World Apple and Pear Association (WAPA), the European apple harvest reached an average of 10.5 million tonnes in 2019, including 1.65 million tonnes for French apples – an increase of 6 per cent when compared to the average results achieved over the last three years.

In total, the Middle East currently acquires 11 per cent of France’s total apple exports, with an average of 40,000 tonnes of French apples exported to the region between 2018 and 2019, according to French Apple and Pear Association (Association Nationale Pommes Poires, (ANPP)). Adding to this, the UAE and Saudi Arabia continue to be the most prominent Middle Eastern markets for French apple exports, accounting together for more than 58 per cent of volumes exported to the region.

Daniel Soares, director of international marketing, Interfel, said “France has a long history of exporting fresh fruits and vegetables to the Middle East.”

“The superior taste and overall quality of our produce resonates well with Middle East consumers and has resulted in year-on-year growth – with forecasts indicating further growth in the coming years,” he said.

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