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Industry

Opportunities in Change

April, 2016

Opportunities in Change

Can you provide us a qualitative overview of the performance of Gulf Warehousing Company (GWC) in 2015 and what are your expectations for performance in 2016 given current global market conditions?

The company is in a strong position to capitalize on the high priority the state is placing on diversifying income sources, and increasing the participation of the private sector in various aspects of economic activity and the overall development of the state. As the state has secured the financing for so many projects, while the total expenditure on these projects in 2016/2017 expected to be over 50% of the total expenditure in the budget for 2014/2015, which rounded out at QAR 218.4 billion, GWC is confident that the logistics market will continue to thrive, allowing them to achieve further milestones in 2016, and maintaining its shareholders and clients expectations.

Sheikh Abdullah bin Fahad bin Jassem bin Jabor Al-Thani, GWC Chairman
Sheikh Abdullah bin Fahad bin Jassem bin Jabor Al-Thani, GWC Chairman
What is the current total warehousing capacity available in Qatar and what is the current demand for warehousing? How much of the total warehousing on offer is provided through GWC?

GWC has a strong footprint in logistics infrastructure of over 2 million square meters, representing state of the art warehousing and distribution centers, open yards, and container yards in addition to maintenance workshop, data center and staff accommodation.  We are the pioneers in the field of real estate and logistics infrastructure development, as we continue to bid on and enter into new logistics hubs projects, such as our latest GWC Bu Sulba Warehousing Park expected to be operational by Q1 2017. We continue to grow our assets by developing our locations, such as our expansions of our Ras Laffan Industrial City site and the Logistics Village Qatar Phase V expansion, offering the very latest, state-of-the-art storage and supply chain solutions.

What are the major projects currently under development to increase warehousing space in the market given an often cited lack of warehousing and storage capacity in the country?

The various projects handled by the Economic Zones Company, or Manateq, aim to strongly address the lack of logistics infrastructure and economic zones in the State of Qatar. The GWC Bu Sulba Warehousing Park in particular aims to fill a gap in the targeted solutions aimed at small and medium enterprises in the logistics field.

Furthermore, what impact has depressed oil and gas prices had on shipping operations in Qatar? How has this impacted your operations specifically?

With the hydrocarbon industry facing a new reality, it fell upon the non-hydrocarbon industries to make up for the gap, having for the first time surpassed the 50% contribution mark to the GDP of the nation. These industries have worked hard to deliver, and have brought about a strong 7.3% growth in real GDP in 2015, with transport contributing to this growth and representing 47% of the current $111 billion of currently planned projects in Qatar.

Having established a strong foundation in the local economic landscape, GWC has been able to deliver a strong 32% growth in net profits, maintaining its financial foothold despite the current economic environment.

Given changing market dynamics in the international maritime industry due to decreased output from markets such as China, what is the development strategy for GWC going forward? Which of your business units do you see as offering the greatest potential revenue sources in 2016?

In light of the changing economic trends, the Company has worked diligently to formulate a strategic document that will guide us and ensure steady growth through the next five years. We have therefore chosen to focus on our local market in order to maximize the utilization of our resources while eyeing selective opportunities in the region.

With a rather well established maritime industry in the country, it is often noted the logistics and warehousing segment has been underserved. Where do you identify the need to further invest in this segment? Is there potential for foreign investment in this sector and does GWC in particular have specific development plans going forward in this arena?

Indeed, we will always enforce and empower our local presence in the segment. Most recently, we have entered into an agreement with UPS, becoming their Authorized Service Contractor in the State of Qatar. We are definitely working towards increasing our presence in the courier segment, an industry that has received much attention lately, with even Qatar Airways Cargo exploring the possibility of adding direct delivery services.

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