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Omani stone, marble firms shine at China expo

MUSCAT, March 10, 2015

Six leading marble and stone producers from Oman took part in the four-day Xiamen International Stone Fair held in China in line with the sultanate's strategy to enter the lucrative Asian construction market.

Xiamen International Stone Fair, which attracted thousands of industry professionals and showcased companies from across the world, was held from March 6 to 9.

All the six companies - Al Rawas Stone & Granite; Al Turki Enterprises; Hamood Al Rashidi & Bros Trading Company; Gulf Mining Materials Company; Al Shanfari Marble Company; and Al-Zerabi Trading Establishment - took part in the show under the umbrella of Oman's public authority for investment promotion and export development Ithraa.

Taleb Al Makhmari, Ithraa’s director of export facilitation, said the global construction was a multi-trillion-dollar industry and Xiamen was the biggest importer and exporter of stone in China.

"So, if Omani companies want to get a foothold in Asia’s construction sector, then Xiamen is the tradeshow to be at. In fact, over the course of the event, we’ve had more than 8,000 visitors walk on to our pavilion," stated Al Makhmari.

“It’s been a remarkable experience,” remarked Essam Al Qaffaf, the general manager, Hamood Al Rashidi & Bros Trading Company.

"We didn’t expect it to be this good. A lot of people visited our pavilion, and frankly, we’ve been overwhelmed by their interest. We’ve got 35 potential immediate deals in China, seven of which are almost sealed. What we need to do post-Xiamen is look into increasing production to meet strong Chinese demand," he added.

According to him, the emerging economies in Asia remain the fastest growing region for construction.

It is estimated that by 2030 more than 55 per cent of Asia’s population will live in cities. Building affordable housing and infrastructure in these emerging markets is, therefore, a major market opportunity for Omani marble and stone suppliers, he added.

Osamah Al Rasbi, the purchasing manager of Zerabi Trading, said: "We came here to expand our business network, find new buyers and review the latest industry machinery. We met existing clients, Omani marble specialists from Korea, Singapore, Malaysia and Taiwan, as well as Chinese firms looking to forge new business ties."

Al Makhmari said the changing nature of the construction industry was of significant interest to Ithraa.

"We’ve a close working relationship with Omani stone and marble producers, and are keen to help them break into new international markets. The Xiamen show has gone a long way in helping us achieve that goal. It’s been a resounding success,' he stated.-TradeArabia News Service




Tags: Oman | China | marble | Xiamen stone fair |

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