Focus on growing ME-Africa automotive aftermarket trade relations

March 27, 2014 1:51 pm

The growing commercial and economic ties between the Middle East and the emerging economies of Africa, was the focus of the 3rd edition of the Automechanika Dubai Network, which met in Dubai last week.

The network which featured a high-powered panel of experts from the automotive aftermarket, focused on the immense potential that exists in the African market, as well as the challenges and bottlenecks that hinder growth.

Organised by Epoc Messe Frankfurt, the event also threw light on the issues affecting the growth of the African aftermarket sector and discussed strategies and initiatives aimed at further developing Middle East-Africa trade. The meeting was well attended by over 75 delegates from the regional automotive aftermarket.

That Africa represents a market of growing importance to the automotive aftermarket in the Middle East is no secret. A large part of the growing re-export trade in auto spares, tyres and batteries, based out of Dubai is increasingly headed to African ports. Continued growth in the economies of sub-Saharan Africa will further fuel that trade.

“Dubai’s crucial role as a major transhipment and re-export hub plays a fundamental part in fuelling growth of the Middle East-Africa automotive aftermarket trade, ” said Ahmed Pauwels, CEO of Epoc Messe Frankfurt. “Interactive forums such as these give rise to crucial discussions on key issues facing the aftermarket trade and promotes increased stakeholder interaction and cooperation in avoiding the hurdles and smoothing over obstacles that might slow down development.”

According to figures released by the UAE National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), UAE’s re-exports to the coun-tries of sub-Saharan Africa have exhibited a consistent upward trend.

The UAE’s exports to Nigeria, for example, hit $1.1bn in 2011, with vehicles and machinery being important constituents of the total. UAE’s exports to East African powerhouse Kenya have risen steadily over the years and the country may soon overtake India and China as Kenya’s largest import supplier. Exports are dominated by oil, but the next-biggest categories were re-exports of vehicles and machinery.

UAE’s trade with other sub-Saharan African countries such as Ghana, Tanzania and Angola too show a promising upward trend, with automotive re-exports rising in importance.

Speaking about the increasing automotive aftermarket links between Africa and Dubai, Subhash Joshi, Senior Automotive Consultant, Frost & Sullivan said: “Africa is the hot item on the international trade agenda. Every major supplier wants to be associated with the African markets, which are seen as the next wave of rapidly developing economies. The automotive aftermarket trade is poised for a period of sustained growth as African demand for commercial and personal vehicles is rapidly growing. Key mega trends such as higher rate of urbanisation, regional integration of transportation system with development of mega corridors, adoption of new business models coupled with infrastructure developments are driving the growth in the industry. We are expecting the industry to grow at CAGR of over 15 per cent over the next 6 years”.

Leading supplier of truck and trailer parts, Intertruck has had first-hand experience of the booming demand from African markets for commercial vehicle parts. Hans van der Spek, Business Manager of Intertruck MENA said: “The African market has enormous potential, but one needs to be aware of the local conditions and environment in order to avoid obstacles and delays.”

He also mentioned that the industry is witnessing a gradual increase in the number of modern fleets serving the continent, with a growing number of the latest model trucks and trailers.

The leading international trade and networking event for the automotive aftermarket in the Middle East, Auto-mechanika Dubai 2014, which will be held from June 3 – 5, 2014 at the Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre, is all set to record another standout run, building further on the record-setting 2013 edition. Organiser reports strong interest from international exhibitors looking to engage with Middle East buyers and decision makers.

Automechanika Dubai 2014 will feature the following product groups: Parts & Systems; Accessories & Tuning; Repair & Maintenance; Tyres & Batteries and Service Station & Car Wash.

Automechanika Dubai 2014 will also feature the popular Automechanika Academy – a series of seminars and workshops given by leading experts and prominent industry figures. These seminars will focus on key issues that affect the automotive aftermarket.

For more information, please contact:
Heba Al Mansoori
BIZ COM – For PRoactive Communications
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