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Opportunities and Expectations in the Middle East Cable Market

The 3rd Advanced Cable Middle East 2017 conference organised by Integer Research is taking place in Dubai from 7-8 of March. The two-day event is an apt platform to identify profitable opportunities for growth in one of the world’s fastest growing advanced power and fibre cable markets.

Organised by Integer Research, the conference will provide excellent insight in the Middle East and Global advanced cable markets discussing technological advancements, new legislation, opportunities for growth and will also provide a platform for regional industry leaders and decision makers to meet and share ideas while establishing lasting business relationships.

Below are comments and thoughts on key markets from Philip Radbourne, Director of Wire & Cable Analysis for Integer Research; Louisa Winnik, Senior Wire & Cable Analyst at Integer Research; and Jan Tezcanli, Head of Fibre for Middle and Far East at Ericsson. Hear their thoughts on opportunities and developments in the specialty cable, fibre optic, and global cable markets.

 

Global Cable Market: Q&A with Philip Radbourne

What market developments do you expect in general for the Global and then Middle East cable market in 2017?

It certainly looks as if 2017 is the year that might have been. We can see from the data globally, that cable markets and demand around the world (with the notable exceptions of Saudi Arabia, Brazil, Russia and Nigeria) were all showing stronger signs.

What is your expectation for the global economy?

All the leading PMI indicators through the late summer were showing that 2017 was likely to be a solid year globally. This recovery started to impact real demand for copper and oil too, but as we have seen the rise of populism leading to Brexit in the UK and the election of President Trump in the US has heightened uncertainty.

What are the key opportunities and challenges faced by the Middle East cable market?

There is still political instability in the region – Iraq, Syria, Yemen. The thawing of the relations with Iran is also likely to be tested with the new US president through 2017 and 2018.

In Saudi Arabia, specifically, lower oil prices, and a new King have meant that some of the large projects that had been planned have been delayed. We have seen volatile market conditions, with the Saudi non-oil business reaching a record low in October 2016, and now with an infusion of government money, the non-oil economy has grown at its fastest rate in in 17 months.This volatility is a challenge for cable companies, that have in some cases stopped production. We have heard that some producers in Saudi Arabia stopped cut back or even halted production of building wire and power cable in the last few weeks. This is disruptive to the supply chain and will hit margins.

We would expect that many domestic producers will look to more exports in 2017, with growth in Central Asia markets, and East and sub-Saharan Africa seeing a steady increase in cable demand. We would expect a return of the historic links between Oman and other Gulf States to various east African countries and their cable markets.

What advanced cable sector are you and your organization most excited about?

Clearly the fibre optic cable market has come back strongly – with new demand from mega-data centres – starting in the US. But these massive US$ billion units – which are handling almost unimaginable amounts of data – can consume around US$20 million of fibre optic cable alone. China had driven growth, but this part of the market will drive growth over the next five years.

What is your key objective you want to achieve by participating in the 3rd Advanced Cable Middle East?

We think that given the increased volatility in the market, and even the rise of “alternative facts”, companies need to have data that they can rely on to make business decisions. Business also need to filter the “news from the noise”, and they can do that by meeting others from their peer group at events like Advanced Cable Middle East – to share their current experiences and market view.

If we can help our participants understand their own markets such as Saudi Arabian construction cable market more, and help them make business decisions that will either make them more money, or avoid taking poor investment decisions then we will have succeeded.

 

Fibre Optic Cable: Views of Jan Tezcanli

What market developments do you expert in general for the Middle East cable (telecom or fibre cable sector) market in 2017?

We expect to see continued growth in the 4G & FTTX area and also some smart city fiber projects to kick off in advanced markets like UAE and Qatar.

What are the key opportunities and challenges faced by the Middle East cable market (telecom or fibre cable sector)?

One of the challenges is of course the financial constraints as a result of the low oil price, and also the conflicts raging in parts of the region.

What advanced cable sector (telecom or fibre cable sector) are you and your organization most excited about?

We are very excited about the continued growth in Mobile Broadband (4G), FTTH which in turn will enable faster adoption of IoT and supported by 5G.

How do you expect Integer’s expertise to influence this summit?

Greatly, as you will bring industry expertize from all levels to share experience and views.

What is your key objective you want to achieve by participating in the 3rd Advanced Cable Middle East?

I want to find out more about innovation and smart fiber solutions available in the market, as our e2e solutions increasingly includes

 

An Outlook of Specialty Cable with Louisa Winnik

What market developments do you expert in general for the Middle East market in 2017?

Low oil prices are leading companies to diversify where they can. We expect to see more business outside the core oil and construction industries.

What are the key opportunities and challenges faced by the Middle East cable market?

It will be a challenge for the region to adjust to the “new normal” of low oil prices. However, this region still has great potential, not least being close to emerg-ing markets in North and East Africa.

What advanced cable sector are you and your organization most excited about?

It has to be the Specialty market – this has been our focus in the last 2 years. Our new report covers the shipbuilding, renewables, offshore oil & gas, mining, rolling stock and aerospace sectors.

How do you expect Integer’s expertise to influence this summit?

I hope Integer’s programme will engage and inform our customers.

What is your key objective you want to achieve by participating in the 3rd Advanced Cable Middle East?

It’s an opportunity to meet with our clients face to face to maintain lasting relationships.

 

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