The 18th Arab International Cement Conference and Exhibition opened its doors today to delegates from across the Middle East & Africa cement industry at the King Hussein Bin Talal Convention Centre on the Dead Sea in the Kingdom of Jordan.
During his inaugurating speech, Dr Hatem Al-Halawani, Minister of Industry, Trade and Supply in Jordan, highlighted the enormous strides made by the Jordanian economy due to affective political and economic reforms, which have seen GDP double over the last decade.
Dr Hatem singled out the significant achievements of the cement industry in Jordan which has become one of the pillars of the economy since the first factory was established in the early 1950s, when other domestic manufacturing activities was limited to light industries such as handicrafts.
As well as noting the vital economic contribution of the cement industry to the economy, Dr Hatem also warned that industrial development should not be at the expense of the environment: "I invite the industry to give the environment a high priority, so that future development is sustainable," he said.
H.H. Prince Sultan Ben Mohammad Bin Saud Al-Kabir, chairman of the Board of the Arab Union for Cement & Building Materials (AUCBM), who also participated in the opening session, paid a special tribute to the King of Jordan and his leadership during the current era of instability in the wider region: "This great king is leading the country well despite the difficult circumstances in which we are living in the region, and I ask God to support him in protecting this country through these sad events."
Prince Al-Kabir noted the positive role played by the AUCBM in making available technical information to the industry through sponsoring training, events and other activities, enabling Arab producers to expand and enhance operations by adopting the latest, innovative technologies. "This conference will provide a platform to learn about best practice in production technology, both locally and internationally," he said, "enabling the industry to work towards a sustainable future."
Mr Ahmad Al- Rousan, Secretary General of the AUCBM and organiser of the event noted that 630 delegates had registered for the meeting, which includes a three-day conference programme and a well subscribed cement equipment exhibition with 123 exhibitors, featuring many of the biggest names in equipment supply.