Middle East markets resilient; Jafza Customer Forum discusses ways to enhance competitiveness to capitalize on growth opportunities in the region
The automotive sector in Jafza is estimated to have generated trade worth over AED 14 billion in 2011 posting a growth of over 20% from the trade the sector generated in 2010.
The automotive sector’s robust growth in 2011 reflects the sector’s rapid recovery in the year, said Jafza officials at the recently held EZW Customer Forum for Jafza companies in Automotive Industry that comprises auto spares and accessories, automobile and other type of transports and construction equipment and machinery industry segments.
The Customer Forum for Automotive sector was 9th in a series of industry events initiated by Jafza to bring together the leading industry players, Jafza management and other stakeholders to collectively address key issues and have an open and constructive dialogue on how to collaborate to enhance combined competitiveness to capitalize on the emerging opportunities in the region and meet industry challenges efficiently and effectively.
Jafza has registered 7.5% increase in the number of companies in 2011 to reach 504 from 467 in 2010. In the last three years the Automotive trade in Jafza saw a growth of 40% rising from AED 10 billion in 2009 to over 14 billion in 2011.
Talal Al Hashimi, Managing Director, EZW UAE Region said: “The remarkable growth in the sector underlines the fact that Dubai continues to be the preferred logistics and distribution centre for the automotive industry in the region. The physical and soft infrastructure of Dubai is the magnet for fast supply chain management industry like automotive. EZW through Jafza and Dubai Auto Zone (DAZ) is committed to the development of the auto industry in the region.”
“We need to capitalize on the emerging opportunities. The Customer Forum aims to find out how we can work together to make this possible and also make Jafza most productive and efficient business hub.”
Ibrahim Aljanahi, Deputy CEO Jafza speaking at the forum said: “The growth reflects Jafza business community’s dynamism and pragmatic approach. By crossing 14 billion mark the automotive sector in Jafza has reached pre-recession peak. The global automotive industry is forecasted to rise 7% in 2012. Since the Middle East is one of the world’s largest importers of automobiles and automotive products I expect this growth to accelerate further in 2012.
“The forum provides us an opportunity to discuss way forward for Jafza and Jafza based companies in the new and challenging market conditions. Innovation and continuous dialogue with customers are the key pillars in our organizational DNA that would continue to keep Jafza at the forefront.” Aljanahi said commenting on the Jafza focus.
Global auto sales are forecasted to rise 7% in 2012 to almost 78 million vehicles. Growth is expected to occur in all major markets other than Europe though the Germany’s new car sales grew almost 10% in 2011. Asian markets are quite resilient with China leading the industry. The spare parts and tyre industry holds significant opportunities for industry players due to strong demand for replacements and increasing sales of vehicles in developing countries particularly in the Middle East, which ranks among the world’s fastest growing markets for automotive products. This provides huge opportunities for Jafza companies in 2012 and the coming years, Jafza officials said on the occasion.
Leading industry players including GM, Audi, Honda, Nissan, Daimler, Chrysler, and Ford from the automobile segment, Michelin, NGK Spark Plugs, Demiplex from the spare parts and specialist logistics service providers such as Hellman Worldwide, AW Rostamani, and Al Futtaim Logistics among others attended the forum.
Senior Jafza officials and partners including Dubai Customs, DP World, Environment Health and Safety (EHS), Civil Engineering Department (CED), Dubai Trade and Dubai Chamber addressed queries and suggestions to improve free zone operations. Jafza officials updated attendees on steps Jafza has taken to address various issues raised by customers in previous customer forums.