have had to
areas on its
periphery like the
Middle East and
its oil- and gas-rich states in the
Europe-based Coatings Companies
Look to the Middle East for Growth
by Sean Milmo
Investment in coatings has been faltering in Europe in response to slow or static growth in demand. Even in Eastern Europe
whose economies have been more dynamic
than those in Western Europe investors have
been reluctant to put new funds into expansions in coatings.
Instead Europe-based coatings companies
have had to seek investment opportunities outside the region, in particularly in faster growing
areas on its periphery like the Middle East and
its oil- and gas-rich states in the Gulf.
The economies of the six Arab countries in
the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) – Saudi
Arabia, United Arab Emirates (UAE), Kuwait,
Qatar, Bahrain and Oman – have been starting
to recover from the impact of the sharp fall in
the prices of crude oil two years ago.
The average growth rates of GDPs of the
GCC states—all oil exporting countries – together with that of Algeria, another large MidEast oil producer, are expected to rise from
less than 2 percent last year to around 3 percent
annually in 2016 and 2017, according to the
International Monetary Fund (IMF). However,
this compares with an average of 7.75 percent
in the ten years to 2015.
Nonetheless despite the decline in economic
growth, the demand for coatings in the Gulf has
stayed relatively strong mainly due to a revival
in the region’s construction sector and in the
need for protective and industrial coatings.
The construction market is being driven by
the increase in new residential housing to meet
rising living standards and in infrastructure
such as airports and rail stations and new cities. In Qatar nine new stadiums are due to be