Climate fluctuations open doors in Middle East for Industrial Textiles and Plastics specialist products
With exports accounting for more than 30 per cent of total sales, Industrial Textiles and Plastics (ITP), Easingwold, North Yorkshire, operates worldwide selling a range of protective membranes. Established in 1989, ITP's products include building membranes, ground and gas membranes, containment and weather protection systems and chemical protection fabrics. The company’s main target markets are the construction, environmental protection, petrochemical, marine & offshore, defence and chemical protection clothing industries. ITP identified an opportunity in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) for its range of breather membranes and vapour control layers (VCLs) both of which are necessary to protect buildings from the humidity and extreme climate fluctuations in the region.
ITP export manager, Peter Winter, (pictured) says: “This has led to a number of large orders, including VCLs for Salalah Airport in Muscat. While business so far has largely been restricted to the breather membranes, orders have also been received for the Powerclad range of scaffold sheeting for petrochemical and shipbuilding projects. “The UAE is attractive for several reasons including that it is the largest UK market in the Middle East for construction products and boasts vast building schemes on a scale rarely seen in Europe. With English as the primary language, and many decision-makers originating from the UK, communication is simple.”
The UAE is also a gateway to other Middle Eastern territories, providing a base for many specifiers from other countries who are attracted by the trade-free zones and tax-free status.
Peter Winter adds: “These countries are also undertaking sizeable construction projects such as the new international airport and preparation for the 2022 football World Cup in Qatar. Trade with the area is relatively straight-forward, with customers happy to accept UK specifications and standards more readily than many EU countries who require specialist sizes and labelling.
“Some complexities have been encountered in the area of documentation where particular attention is needed as there are often hidden costs such as the certificates of origin required from the UAE Embassy. Help with this is readily available from Chamber International.”
UKTI has been able to help ITP by providing credit guarantees which are necessary due to the lack of commercial credit available.
Having resolved these issues, and with a current upturn in the economy, Peter Winter says that ITP is confident of developing prosperous, ongoing business in the Middle East.