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Features - Editor, 10 June 2010

China - Abu Dhabi Relationship Develops



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On 31 May 2010, the Sheraton Shanghai Hotel in Pudong hosted the Abu Dhabi and China Economic Forum, where the future relationships between the two countries was discussed and developments in their industrial sectors praised. China has shown growth in their transportation, technology, education, energy, science and telecommunication sectors, while Abu Dhabi has reached great achievements in their transport, renewable energy, steel and infrastructure projects. Another topic that was of major importance to the forum was China’s steel market, as well as its aluminium sectors and oil supply.

The China Iron & Steel Association is one of the biggest suppliers of steel products in the world, with a large export market. Yet it seems that the steel industry in China is at a fork in the road, and a survey done by the Head of Commodity Research Standard Chartered Bank, Helen Henton, indicates that there might be a very slow period in sight for the steel industry. According to the research done, it seems that the demand for raw material, due to its high cost, will decrease, which will be quite a setback for China, as they have enjoyed a very busy and lucrative first quarter. Two key factors have assisted in the high demand for steel, namely China’s urbanisation development projects and the shipbuilding industry. As the shipbuilding industry has received impressive ship orders, approximately forty-thousand deadweight tons, which has been a huge boost for the steel industry.

In the second quarter, however, the changes and difficultly of the requirements placed on the property industry by the government could greatly influence the steel industry. Most of the members of the steel industry have acknowledged that they too foresee a strained second quarter, as the decrease in the property market will see a drop in demand for steel. However, the forum did showcase a variety of investment opportunities in both Abu Dhabi and China in other industries, vowing to keep the industry relationships between the two countries as strong as they have always been. More than two hundred investors and members of the industry attended the forum and participated in the discussion of future ventures and opportunities.

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