Since last few years, MENA region has been identified as one of the most growing economies of the world. This growth story started around turn of the century and had a smooth run till 2008 global economic meltdown. Many economies in the developed world suffered a big jolt and since the economies of many countries in MENA region are closely associated with western world, they also felt huge tremors. Infrastructure creation was at the core of this economic growth and due to crunch in liquidity, many infra projects were halted. The metal demand suddenly dived down and many enterprises associated with this industry witnessed a huge setback, few had to even down their shutters. Many jobs were lost.
All of us know that the collapses are sudden where as the growth is always gradual. The region also started gaining back the lost ground. Slowly the infra projects re started and the metals demand started recovering. Oil price crash happened around 3 years back and it had a similar impact on infra projects and metals demand. Now the oil prices are somewhat better which has improved liquidity situation to some extent. Naturally, the steel industry and the economy in general are on recovery path.
Another factor which has been impacting the economic activity is political instability. The region has been unfortunate on this count and few countries in MENA are going through political instability which is adversely affecting the economy and the industry.
With all these ups and downs, MENA region still offers great opportunities for metals business houses around the globe especially in aluminium sector. It consumes substantial quantity of aluminium mainly for its infrastructure development needs. Thus steel raw material suppliers have a sustained interest in this region. Apart from the primary aluminum producers, there are numerous extrusion units, rolling mills which cater to the growing needs of the industry. Infact, the whole MENA region can also be called as a big aluminium hub. In spite of the tremors of slowdown this industry sector has been growing continuously for the last so many years.
Overall, I feel that MENA region offers a tremendous opportunity for metals industry and I look forward to a vibrant, growing and sustainable industry in coming time !