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|04 April, 2017

Turkey quarry owners targeting Saudi market

With a national stone export target of US$6bn by 2023, Turkey’s leading stone providers view their own bold targets as being reflective of Saudi Vision 2030

Image used for illustrative purpose. In the limestone quarries of Minya province south of Cairo, labourers in sandals and makeshift masks use unsheathed rotor blades to gouge the white, fossil-rich rock into house bricks. The workers in the snow-white landscape - farmers and university graduates among them – plan to strike next month amid complaints of salaries between $10 and $16 a day, scant safety measures and a lack of social and medical insurance despite men having lost arms, legs or fingers in accidents. The number of workers in Egypt’s limestone quarries is hard to assess, NGOs say, unlicensed sites employ thousands illegally

Image used for illustrative purpose. In the limestone quarries of Minya province south of Cairo, labourers in sandals and makeshift masks use unsheathed rotor blades to gouge the white, fossil-rich rock into house bricks. The workers in the snow-white landscape - farmers and university graduates among them – plan to strike next month amid complaints of salaries between $10 and $16 a day, scant safety measures and a lack of social and medical insurance despite men having lost arms, legs or fingers in accidents. The number of workers in Egypt’s limestone quarries is hard to assess, NGOs say, unlicensed sites employ thousands illegally

Reuters
04 April 2017

DUBAI — Suppliers of the world’s most sought-after stone have targeted the booming Saudi construction industry as a major market for expansion in the next six years.

Quarry owners from Turkey – renowned internationally for their vast supply of exceptional natural stone and marble – have touched down in the Kingdom ahead of the first Stone & Surface Saudi Arabia trade show, starting in Jeddah on Tuesday evening.

Home to more than 80 types of stone incorporating 400 different colors and patterns, Turkey is firmly established as the world’s leading nation for stone supply. Its biggest international suppliers – currently responsible for $1.8 billion of exports a year – are aiming to promote the use of their distinguished stone to those behind Saudi’s 4,000 ongoing construction projects, valued by market surveyors BNC at almost $730billion.

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With a national stone export target of US$6billion by 2023, Turkey’s leading stone providers view their own bold targets as being reflective of Saudi Vision 2030 – and head to the Kingdom with the intention of doing business with the region’s biggest construction firms this week.

They will showcase their products across the next three days – April 4-6 – at Stone & Surface Saudi, which is inviting the region’s construction and design industry to liaise with big name Turkish firms including Eymer, Onur Madenclilik, Yeditepe, and a host of international suppliers from the likes of China, UAE, Italy, Oman, Belgium, Lebanon, Germany, Australia and Saudi too.

Cemal Erdal Batibay from TMG Dogaltas said: “The Saudi market is very attractive for our products. We have seen an increasing sales trend from the second half of 2016 until now across Saudi.

“It is now one of the main markets for our marble [Crema Nuova and Rosalia from Bilecik, Turkey]. We are participating in Stone & Surface Saudi to increase awareness in this market of TMG and our products. This exhibition offers the chance for the main sellers and buyers in marble and construction business to meet.”

Umran Keser from ERK Marble said: “We are participating in Stone & Surface Saudi because we want to change our main market.

SG“Turkish stones are good quality and come in many kinds at competitive prices. Our materials can be used outdoors and indoors and we think they are good for the Saudi market.”

Other international industry suppliers will be joining the Turkish pool in exhibiting at this week’s show, excited by the promise the Kingdom offers as it aims to become the leading Arab nation through the Government-led Saudi Vision 2030.

Stefano Iannacone, Regional Managing Director at Dubai-based Mapei Construction Chemicals LLC, said: “This past year has been quite fruitful for MAPEI and we have quite a few innovations to share with other players in the market. We are proud to present a selection of solutions with waterproofing, installations and renovations, for surfaces which involve ceramics, porcelain tiles, concrete and mosaics, to name a few.

“We like to think that there was never a ‘bad time’ to do business in Saudi Arabia. Ever since 2016, MAPEI has been focused on increasing its presence within the KSA market due to both its size and enormous potential. Despite what would have been described as ‘a challenging economic climate’, the country remains one of the best performing and promising markets in the region.

“At the moment, the construction market is continuously growing and that has been a huge encouraging factor for MAPEI to move forward with projects within the region. While private projects might have slowed down, the Saudi government, like us, have an optimistic outlook on the future of the construction market and has been focusing their attention on the country›s infrastructure. This means that there will be no lack in projects that include the construction of schools, hospitals, affordable housing, while also improving the growing country›s hospitality industry.”

© The Saudi Gazette 2017

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