A bigger German participation at SteelFab 2012 is expected to generate keen interest in the regional steel fabrication industry given that Germany is the fourth largest trade partner of the UAE and its products are known for their technological superiority.

Raising expectations within the industry is the fact that UAE-Germany trade has increased steadily to improve the European country’s position as the fourth largest trade partner of the UAE, going a notch up from last year’s fifth place.

German exports to the UAE had surged by 23 per cent to 7.5 billion euros and imports from the Emirates grew to 519 million euros in 2010, a positive indicator that the show will open up new channels of trade with Europe, and rise in sharing of expertise and technological know-how.

SteelFab, the Middle East’s leading trade show for the metal-working, metal-manufacturing and steel fabrication industry, will be held from January 9-12, 2012, at Expo Centre Sharjah.

For the next edition, the show is set to host the German Pavilion for the second time, with 12 leading names already confirming their participation. In the previous year, the show had featured 10 exhibitors in the pavilion and won instant endorsement from trade visitors.

“The UAE is one of the most important partners of Germany in the region and this is visible in the rising bilateral trade and economic activities. The inaugural German pavilion received good response from the regional industry and this has spurred the 25 per cent rise in the German participation this time,” said Mr Saif Mohammed Al Midfa, Director-General of Expo Centre Sharjah.

“The German participation has been steady over the years, with many manufacturers either exhibiting directly or getting represented through their agents,” Mr Midfa added.

The 12 leading manufacturers / firms that have already signed up for SteelFab 2012 include Manfred Borries, Weicon, Flexicam, Nordmeyer Stahl Handel Und Service, Jepson Power GmbH, Messer Cutting & Welding, Kaltenbach Maschinenfabrik, Honsberg Metallsägen, Kahrl & Wiemann, Knuth Werkzeugmaschinen, August Rüggeberg Gmbh & Co., Vollmer Italia and Sciteex Rmw.

As in the past year, the German Pavilion will be held under the aegis of VDMA, (Verband Deutscher Maschinen- und Anlagenbau - German Engineering Federation), which is one of the key association service providers in Europe and is the largest engineering industry network in Europe.

“With roughly two-thirds of German products being exported, SteelFab is a key platform for manufacturers from our country to access the entire Middle East and surrounding regions. The regional governments are also moving away from oil-based economies to manufacturing and other industrial sectors, thus offering immense opportunities for German companies,” said Dr Martin Riester, organizing member of VDMA.

“GCC states are set to grow nearly 7 per cent this year, an exceptional growth rate considering the economic conditions in certain parts of the world. So, the obvious choice for international manufacturers is the region and SteelFab, which is the premier platform for those seeking to explore the Middle East market,” said Dr. Riester. SteelFab, the region's largest sourcing platform for the steel working industry, will also have the support of UCIMU - Sistemi per Produrre - the Association of Italian Manufacturers of Machine Tools, Robots, Automation Systems and ancillary products, and the Taiwan Association of Machinery Industry (TAMI). SteelFab 2011 featured more than 600 brands and recorded an increase in the number of visitors by 20 per cent compared to last year. It was held at a total exhibition area of 16,000 square meters, featuring the Middle East's largest display of machinery, machine tools, welding equipment, supplies, consumables and ancillary equipment used in the pre and post-treatment of steel.