Al-Qassabi wants GCC to guard against certain steel imports

Updated 19 June 2016
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Al-Qassabi wants GCC to guard against certain steel imports

RIYADH: Minister of Commerce and Investment Majid Al-Qassabi has commended the joint action taken by the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries to safeguard against importing flat-rolled products of iron and non-alloy steel into the region.
Recently, the GCC unanimously decided to safeguard against the increasing import of flat-rolled products of iron and non-alloy steel into the region.
The case was first reported to the WTO (World Trade Organization) under the unified law of anti-dumping, compensatory and safeguard measures, which announced on the official website of the organization.
Al-Qassabi, who is the chairman of the current session of the Trade Cooperation Committee of the GCC, stressed that the Kingdom in cooperation with the GCC countries has played a significant role and worked very hard over the past years on the completion of unified law approvals and its amendments. “All that to combat the harmful practices to the international trade,” he added.
The minister said his ministry was keen to activate this important law under the understanding of its effect on trading performance, which decrease damages and unfair practices on Saudi Arabia and Gulf manufacturers and industries.
He praised the group initiative of the GCC countries to continue opening investigations to combat unfair practices in international trade and currently investigating GCC markets dumping. He pointed out that it is a sign of GCC countries unity in fair trade and combat against international trade harmful practices that affect the manufacturers.
“These efforts are clear evidence of the desire of the ministers of commerce in the GCC countries to eliminate the damages affecting the manufacturers along with current and new industries. And no doubt that it will protect the GCC markets, leading to a localizing the investments which correspond to the Saudi Vision 2030.”
The minister explained that the collective processing of high-priority issues for the GCC countries, in line with policies of strengthening the Customs Union.
Al-Qassabi said that the current situation was a result of a teamwork effort from all the GCC countries over many years, during which some meetings held under the umbrella of the General Secretariat of the Gulf Cooperation Council.

Nowadays, he added that the GCC countries are harvesting the fruits of the unified system which considered a great historical achievement, and hopefully to continue to do so in the short and medium term.


Saudi energy minister compares electric vehicle “hype” to peak oil misconceptions

Updated 23 min 12 sec ago
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Saudi energy minister compares electric vehicle “hype” to peak oil misconceptions

Arab News LONDON: Saudi Energy Minister Khalid Al-Falih on Monday questioned what he described as the “hype” of the electric vehicle market and compared it to past misconceptions around the theory of peak oil.
He told the CERAWeek energy gathering by IHS Markit in New Delhi that petrol and diesel engines would co-exist with emerging electric and hydrogen fuel cell technologies for much longer than widely expected.
Miscalculations around the pace of electrification could create “serious” risks around global energy security, he said.
“Conventional vehicles today, despite all the hype, represent 99.8 percent of the global vehicle fleet. That means electric vehicles with 0.2 percent of the fleet, only substitute about 30,000 barrels per day of oil equivalent of a total global oil demand of about 100 million barrels.
“Even if those numbers increase by a factor of 100 over the next couple of decades, they would still remain negligible in the global energy mix.”
He said: “History tells us that orderly energy transformations are a complex phenomenon involving generational time frames as opposed to quick switches that could lead to costly setbacks.”
In another broadside aimed at electric vehicles, the Saudi energy minister highlighted past misconceptions about global energy demand growth — and specifically the notion of “peak oil.”
“I remember thought leaders within the industry telling us that oil demand will peak at 95 million barrels per day. Had we listened to them and not invested . . . imagine the tight spot we would be in today.”
“Let’s also remember that in many parts of the world, roughly three fourths of the electricity, which would also power electric vehicles, is currently generated by coal, including here in India. So you could think of any electric vehicle running in the streets of Delhi as essentially being a coal-powered automobile.”
“When it comes to renewables, the fundamental challenge of battery storage remains unresolved — a factor that is essential to the intermittency issue impacting wind and solar power. Therefore the more realistic narrative and assessment is that electric vehicles and renewables will continue to make technological and economic progress and achieve greater market penetration — but at a relatively gradual rate and as a result, conventional energy will be with us for a long, long time to come.”