The total investment in the GCC’s industrial sector is estimated at $394.9 billion, with 17,596 factories employing approximately 1.66 million workers, according to a senior official at Gulf Organization for Industrial Consulting (GOIC).
Abdulaziz bin Hamad Al Ageel, secretary general, GOIC, said: “Our IMI Plus data revealed that 3,125 factories operated in the manufacture of metal products (except machinery and equipment); followed by 2,978 factories in the manufacturing of non-metallic mineral products; 2,025 factories in the manufacture of rubber and plastics products, and the rest in other areas.”
The official was speaking at the 1st Gulf Statistical Forum organised by the General Authority for Statistics and the GCC Statistical Centre (GCC-Stat) in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
According to Al Ageel, the biggest share of cumulative investments went to the manufacturing of chemicals and chemical products with investments worth $110.6 billion, followed by the manufacture of coke and refined petroleum products ($98.9 billion), the manufacture of basic metals (approximately $59 billion), the manufacture of other non-metallic mineral products (around $40.2 billion) and then the rest of industries.
Furthermore, the official highlighted that the Gulf industrial sector offered job opportunities to approximately 1.66 million workers, most of them (16.7 per cent) in the manufacture of other non-metallic mineral products with 278,400 workers, followed by the manufacture of metal products (except machinery and equipment) with 255,700 workers, the manufacture of food products with 194,600 workers, the manufacture of rubber and plastics with 137,400 workers, and then the remaining industries.
As to factories, Al Ageel said they varied between small, medium and big enterprises. In details, there were 11969 small, 2701 medium and 2926 big factories in the GCC in 2016. The largest share of big and medium factories went to Saudi Arabia with 1774 big and 1531 medium factories, while the UAE had the biggest share of small factories (5433), followed by Oman with 1284 factories.
In this regard, GOIC takes into account the unified invested capital as a criterion to distinguish between types of Gulf industries, after carrying out a thorough review of the components of GCC manufacturing industries. Consequently, small industries have less than $2 million invested in each of them, medium industries have a capital of $2 to $6 million each, said a statement from the company.