MANAMA: The 11th edition of the Gulf Industry Fair (GIF), a dynamic multi-billion-dollar industrial marketplace, was inaugurated yesterday by His Royal Highness Prime Minister Prince Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa at the Bahrain International Exhibition and Convention Centre.
The three-day exhibition, organised by Hilal Conferences and Exhibitions (HCE), focuses on industrial development and innovation through a series of initiatives and activities.
The high-profile expo offers companies the opportunity to showcase their products and services to a targeted B2B audience consisting of procurement managers, industrialists, purchasers, consultants and decision-makers from the region and across the world.
The Gulf Industry Fair is being held against a backdrop of falling revenues from oil, bringing into sharper focus the decision by GCC governments to accelerate their economic diversification programmes, said the organisers.
“Despite a regional economic slowdown caused by low oil prices in recent years, ongoing investment in the GCC’s industrial infrastructure remains strong,” said HCE managing director Jubran Abdulrahman.
“Notably, Saudi Arabia’s long-term 2030 Vision is likely to be a key driver of the Gulf’s industrial ambitions in the coming years, as the region’s biggest economy accelerates diversification efforts,” he stated.
Mr Abdulrahman pointed out that the Gulf Industry Fair will build on the legacy of previous editions.
“We are grateful for the unwavering support of HRH the Prime Minister in helping to establish the Gulf Industry Fair as the ‘go to’ exhibition for companies operating in the Northern Gulf’s expanding industrial markets. We are committed to providing the ultimate networking, knowledge-sharing and deal-making platform for all companies involved in the industrial sectors,” he added.
“The expo will see Made in Bahrain manufacturers promote the country’s capabilities in addition to world-class industrial facilities which will add to the business proposition of the Kingdom to international and regional investors,” added Mr Abdulrahman.
This year’s edition will also host the first Solar Utilities Network (SUN), a new initiative focusing on the latest trends in the solar and renewable energy sector and how the industry can benefit from them.
The Premier inaugurated the network yesterday by switching on the SUN logo powered by a solar-panel tree set up at the entrance of the exhibition.
A major highlight of the debut SUN forum will be a keynote address by Electricity and Water Affairs Minister Dr Abdulhussain bin Ali Mirza.
The event will be held today, the second day of the expo.
“Industrial development will require energy to fuel growth. Today, energy requirements are not only about cost-effective power generation but also have to consider environmental concerns,” said HCE exhibitions director Ahmed Suleiman.
This year’s edition enjoys the strategic support of Alba, Bapco, the National Oil and Gas Authority (Noga) and Bahrain Investment Wharf.
The Industrial Facilities Sector is championed by Majaal. GIF promotes key industrial segments of Aluminium, Industrial Processes and Manufacturing; Industrial Metals (Steel and Alloys); Energy and Environmental Protection; Industrial Facilities; Ports and Maritime Industries; Training for Industry; and Fire, Safety and Security.
Innovative products showcased at GIF include: Tooling, solar energy, wireless electricity transmission, smart technology, robotics, floating facilities, aluminium wheels, lighting poles, valves, specialised industrial paints and coatings and compressors.
Leading industry leaders showcasing their products at the event include AKGEC, ASNU, Audi Transformers, Al-Ahleia Switchgear, AXA Power, Bahrain Pack, Beka, Bobcat, Doorking, Eazy ERP, Ebara, EMSA, Gossen Metrawatt, Grove, Hyster, Kohler, Lincoln Electric, Manati, MAC Valves, Mahendra Pumps, Metabo, Midal Cables, Manitowoc, Molex, Omicron, Osaki, Perkins, Rexton, Rockwell Automation, Schneider Electric, Taishanbrand and Thorn Security.
Supporting organisations includes Bahrain Solar Association, AHK Saudi Arabia, India’s PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and Bahrain Industrial Association.
The Gulf Industry Fair is open to business visitors from 9am to 7pm, today and tomorrow.