KIRKLEES companies are being urged to emulate a Huddersfield firm – and pursue multi-billion pound trade opportunities in Saudi Arabia.
Specialist coatings company Thermilate Europe Ltd, led by managing director Ash Ashfaq, has established a strong presence in the region – with offices in Dubai serving Middle East locations including Bahrain, Oman, Qatar, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia.
The company, based at the Media Centre, Northumberland Street, provides insulating paints, primers and other coatings for energy-saving and heat control in homes, industrial and commercial buildings. Clients have included Coca Cola, Honda, Vodafone and IKEA.
Thermilate also has a distribution network across 20 European countries as well as exporting to countries including Australia, India, Pakistan and South Africa.
Now the company is being highlighted as an example for other to follow as the government’s export support arm drums up interest in the massive Saudi Arabian market.
UK Trade & Investment said projects to build six new cities, more than 4,400 new schools, five airports and thousands of mils of rail track presented major opportunities for infrastructure firms across Yorkshire.
Saudi Arabia has the largest construction market in the Middle East – and one of the fastest-growing in the world.
Mark Robson, international trade director for UKTI in Yorkshire, said: “The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia controls a quarter of the world’s oil and gas reserves and is a country that thinks big.
Major projects are matched by major investment, which offers huge opportunities for UK firms.
“Whether it is building infrastructure to help pilgrims in the Hajj or new cities to help diversify the economy and provide jobs for the growing population, the rate and pace of development in Saudi Arabia is astounding.”
Mr Robson said Thermilate was one of several Yorkshire companies making progress in the region.
Others include Elland-based security glass supplier C3S Securiglass, Leeds specialist lighting firm CCS Neon, Bradford construction products firm Lindapter and Bradford-based Fox Builders.
Said Mr Robson: “The UK has an excellent track record of managing major infrastructure projects and experience in designing and managing the type of logistical projects that will be integral to the future economic success of the kingdom.”
A UKTI report, Building Saudi Arabia, highlighted opportunities for firms in helping to provide housing, shops and universities, schools, water and power plants, railways, airports and seaports.