Economic Meltdown Temporarily Restrains Growth in the Middle East Water and Wastewater Treatment Equipment Markets, Finds Frost & SullivanThe market for water and wastewater treatment equipment in Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries experienced rapid growth during 2008 driven by huge investments in infrastructure, real estate, petrochemicals, oil and gas and other sectors. However, the sub-prime mortgage crisis that hit western economies changed the business climate and there was a considerable decline in demand for most commodities. Crude oil prices plummeted to about $50 per barrel from a historic high of $145 per barrel, making investors wary of funding new projects.
New analysis from Frost & Sullivan (http://www.environmental.frost.com ), Analysis of the Middle East (GCC) Water and Wastewater Treatment Equipment Market, finds that market earned revenues of over $1.26 billion during 2008 and estimates this to reach $1.87 billion in 2013.
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"It is estimated that some of the downstream and upstream investments, which were planned considering crude oil price of more than $85 per barrel, are likely to be shelved," says Frost & Sullivan Sr. Research Analyst Vivek Gautam. "This sudden change in the business landscape has stalled market progression, but with strong economic fundamentals and increased governmental expenditure, the GCC market is expected to be back on the rails by 2010."
Governments in GCC countries have exhibited strong political will to continue investing in important infrastructure projects. Environmental and health hazards related to the disposal of untreated effluent, marine pollution, and deteriorating ground water quality are some of the issues that are keeping market prospects alive. Though these forces have been overshadowed by short-term concerns, they are expected to positively impact market dynamics from 2009 to 2013.
The extent to which markets across GCC member nations will be affected by the current economic slump largely depends on factors that include government dependence on oil revenues, dependence of economic growth on external debt, and ability to absorb the shock based on the inherent economic resilience. The core municipal sector is expected to cushion the impact of this slowdown. Governments in GCC countries have identified municipal wastewater treatment as the priority area for multiple reasons including the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals.
Some large private real estate developers of lifestyle townships, luxury villas, and shoreline apartments are utilizing advanced wastewater treatment technologies to assist in maintaining a hygienic and odor-free environment. Wastewater treatment and reuse is likely to see widespread adoption across GCC countries, representing an expanding market for advanced wastewater treatment technologies. On the other hand, desalination has been the prime driver for the water segment.
"The market is fraught with challenges in spite of its immense opportunities," says Gautam. "The complex business environment, slow decision making process, and customer preference for low cost solutions regardless of the performance makes it difficult to penetrate the market."
Further, the mass market is highly price sensitive, triggering intense competition in lower technology products. Profit margins for such products are also under pressure. Owing to the lack of technical competence, cost considerations dictate buyers' decisions. Component suppliers, in particular, are facing hyper competition due to the availability of low-cost products from supplier nations such as India and China. The onus is on technology providers to roll out cost-effective products to successfully navigate tough market conditions.
Analysis of the Middle East (GCC) Water and Wastewater Treatment Equipment Market is part of the Environmental Growth Partnership Service program, which also includes research in the following markets: Point of Use (POU) Water Treatment Systems Market in India, Industrial Air Pollution Control Equipment Market in Vietnam, Indian Waste Management Services Market, Industrial Waste Management Services Markets in Malaysia, Singapore and the Philippines, Indian Residential Water Treatment Systems Market, and Municipal Water and Wastewater Treatment Equipment Markets in Malaysia. All research services included in subscriptions provide detailed market opportunities and industry trends that have been evaluated following extensive interviews with market participants.
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