Steel industry calls for unity
A strong message of cooperation and unity was sent from Made in Steel industry conference and exhibition in Southern Europe that opened on 15 May 2019 in Milan, Italy.
Slowing steel demand (compared to 2018 trends); regional market segmentation (fostered by tariffs and global protectionism) and a climate of general uncertainty in the industry are challenging the Italian and the European steel industry, after two years of renewed optimism and good performance. To overcome current difficulties, strong cooperation within the value chain is needed, involving producers and distributors in their respective areas of responsibility. This was the gist of the opening address of the eighth edition of the Made in Steel three-day conference and exhibition.
“Knowledge, cross-fertilisation and cooperation have been part and parcel of Siderweb since the steel community was created. We should go back to what unites us within the value chain, rather than highlighting what divides us,” said Emanuele Morandi, President and CEO of Made in Steel, in his opening remarks. “Business models are changing and nothing is still the same, but people should remain at the very heart of the market.”
“The Lombardy region is willing to support you with the measures you need, to help the industry overcome the challenges from globalisation, to keep our ‘humanity’ in new markets,” said Alessandro Mattinzoli, councillor for Economic Development for the Lombardy Region. “Politics must be engaged in active listening and evolving, sitting at discussion tables with the general public and the world of business.”
Representatives from the steel value chain echoed the call for closer cooperation to meet the challenges facing the steel industry.
“Future global and geo-political challenges call for a more comprehensive approach to overcome together the difficulties from the economic conjuncture,” added Riccardo Benso, President of Assofermet. “I am thinking specifically about the trade war which is affecting our markets. Tackling problems together will be really exciting.”
The afternoon conference - 'Steel vision: a global perspective' - hosted key players in the manufacturing and distribution value chain such as Matthieu Jehl, CEO of ArcelorMittal Italia and Fernando Espada, President of Eurometal.
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