Jafza recently organised a Strategic Forum for leading players in the Chemical, Oil and Gas sector in the free zone. The Forum is part of a series of industry-specific events launched by Jafza earlier this year, designed to create strategic dialogue with top industry executives on sector-specific issues. Jafza hosted a similar event for its clients in the Logistics sector, in March this year.
With 400 companies in all, the Chemical Oil and Gas Industry forms an important part of the growing Jafza business community. Senior officials from premier companies in the free zone like Petrochem Middle East, Shell, Exxon Mobil, and Middle East Lubricants among others attended the Forum. Representatives from Dubai Customs, DP World, Environment Health and Safety (EHS) Department, Dubai Municipality and other partners of Jafza also participated in the event.
The Forum aimed to provide insight into trends and market dynamics shaping business prospects and also to create a platform for genuine exchange of ideas on how Jafza can work together with industries to collectively find ways to enhance competitiveness and make the operating environment within Jafza even more enriching for those companies.
Jafza has extended its support to the sector by establishing a dedicated 615,549 square metres cluster for chemical oil and gas companies in Jafza South enabling better access to customers, interdependent processes and improved logistics.
The session was highly focused on areas close to the sector, allowing each participant to voice individual queries, concerns and suggestions to enhance operations further. Participating companies discussed federal rules, regulations, customs, duties coordination of various Government entities, Ministries and regulatory bodies and internal free zone processes to improve efficiencies.
Industry leaders called for Jafza’s support in helping them reach markets in Asia-Pacific. Growth is forecast to mainly emanate from Asia-Pacific and Latin America, which represent the fastest growing regional markets for oilfield and chemicals worldwide. Jafza briefed clients on their strong Asian network and suggested ways in which they could work together with companies to leverage opportunities in these markets.
Ibrahim Mohamed Al Janahi, Deputy CEO, Jafza and Chief Commercial Officer said: “The Strategic Forum was quite well received by the Chemical Oil and Gas Community and had all attendees unanimously agree on more networking and discussion platforms where we could all constructively discuss the way forward. The sector is an important contributor to the local economy. Free Zone trade in 2009 for the Mineral fuels, oils and bituminous substances was valued at AED 22.7 billion with imports at AED 12.4 billion and exports at AED 10.3 billion. We want to extend our support to this burgeoning sector in any way we can. Our success rests on our continued commitment to enabling our customers businesses and this Forum is a way for us to understand their needs better.”
The latest United Arab Emirates (UAE) Oil & Gas Report from BMI forecasts that the country will account for 6% of Middle Eastern (ME) regional oil demand by 2015, providing 11% of supply.
Al Janahi added: “The prosperity of the UAE and its rapid transformation to a booming economy over the decades has been made possible by its focus on developing its core energy sectors. Apart from oil, in the coming years, natural gas will play an increasingly important role in the UAE’s development – particularly as a fuel source for power generation, petrochemicals and manufacturing industry. Facilitating development and capacity building in the country's core sectors such as energy is one of Jafza’s mandates.”
Many companies in the Middle Eastern region are making massive investments to increase their capacities to produce petrochemicals along the value chain. Ethylene capacities, for example are expected to more than double combined polyethylene (PE) and polypropylene (PP) to nearly triple by 2012 and this is the first wave of development. The Forum aims to capitalize on the optimistic outlook for the industry focusing on ways to sustain growth.