GCC: long-term development
The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) region has seen unprecedented cement demand in several countries in recent years and this has prompted new capacity projects, in Qatar and Saudi Arabia in particular. Sliding oil prices have slowed construction investment, but cement producers remain confident in spite of the challenges ahead.
The GCC region’s population is expected to grow at a CAGR of 2.5 per cent between 2014-18 to reach 56.9m, according to Trade Arabia and as such, form a solid base for regional cement demand expansion over the mid- to long term.
However, balancing the need for consistent growth and employment will test the governance of many GCC countries in the coming years. These economies are eagerly aiming to diversify away from the oil-based revenues, which has now become an urgent requirement highlighted by the plummeting price of oil. Meanwhile, the cement industry also needs market opportunities to maintain high output and margins.