Message from Secretary General_July 2020

Posted on 04 August 2020

COVID-19 Grows … Again … 

COVID-19 remains resilient and resistant against all global efforts to contain it. While the battle is raging on in most parts of the world, it appeared that the outbreak has been subdued in the Asia Pacific Region. However, the recent resurgence of cases in China, Australia, Japan, Korea, Hong Kong and many other APAC countries, the second (or third) wave shows how hard it is to contain this outbreak.

2020 SEAISI e-Conference

The inaugural 2020 SEAISI e-Conference was a resounding success with 377 registered delegates from 168 companies in 25 countries around the world. 

Our notable delegates include participants from:

  • Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD)
  • World Steel Association
  • Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Trade & Industry, MATRADE, Dept of Standards, Construction Industry Development Board, Malaysia Steel Institute, Malaysia
  • Ministry of Planning, Finance & Industry, Ministry of Transport & Communication, Ministry of Education, Myanmar
  • Board of Investment, Department of Trade & Industry, Philippines
  • Economic Development Board, Singapore
  • Yusof Ishak Institute of SEA Studies, Singapore

The SEAISI e-Conference (Part I: Market and Economics) was held online from 30 June 2020 to 2 May 2020, covering:

  • Regional Developments
  • Market Perspectives
  • 10 Country Reports across APAC region
  • Plenary Session with Steel Industry CEO’s discussing about COVID-19 impacts

Dr Nae-Hee Han presented on the pandemic and the impact on the global steel industry. She spoke about the impact of lockdowns and its toll on the economy, with the major victim being the automotive sector. 

While COVID19 crisis appears to be milder than the Global Financial Crisis, post COVID19, recovery is highly uncertain. Expectations is that 2020 will see a substantial reduction in steel consumption and 2021 is like to see some partial recovery.

My presentation on the ASEAN Steel Industry Outlook focused on COVID19 impact in ASEAN, which highlights a few key points. First, ASEAN’s effort to contain the outbreak is a mixed bag. Lockdowns and other restrictions have impacted the economies severely, with the most affected sector being the automotive sector.

Second, ASEAN steel producers have been exporting a lot of semis and long products around ASEAN and to China (Jan-Apr 2020). Third, overcapacity remains a threat to the already fragile economic situation in ASEAN.

Fourth, while the Global Financial Crisis severely impacted ASEAN, it is not as bad as the Asian Financial Crisis. ASEAN governments have managed the past crisis well and recovery have become shorter. 

Lastly, in 2020, steel consumption in ASEAN will be severely affected, with a recovery coming up in 2021, subject to successful containment of COVID19. More details in the Headline section of the newsletter. 

Ms Li Hongmei gave us a history of the development of steel industry in China and the impact from COVID19. While the impact from COVID19 will impact the machinery, electrical, electronic products exports will be severe, China will continue to boost infrastructure projects and support auto and privately owned enterprises. 

The restructuring of the coal and steel sectors will continue and China will make more capital available to grow the economy. New investments by Chinese Steel mills will continue to take place.

There are so many good presentations during this e-Conference. You can purchase them from the Secretariat. 

The Plenary Session covered COVID-19 impact, with a discussion among:

  • Mr Win Viriyaprapaikit, CEO, Sahaviriya Steel Industries, Thailand
  • Mr Dinh Quoc Thai, Vice President, Vietnam Steel Corporation, Vietnam
  • Mr Purwono Widodo, Director - Commercial, PT Krakatau Steel, Indonesia
  • Dr Nae Hee Han, Director, Economic Affairs and Chief Economist at World Steel Association

We would like to thank all our guests, delegates, speakers, partners, SEAISI Directors and National Committees for making our inaugural e-Conference a success. 

Upcoming Events 

Upcoming events to be noted:
2020 SEAISI e-Conference (Part II): Technology & Operations Development
2020 e-Seminar on Strengthening Transformation on Digitalization through Reliability and Productivity Improvement
2020 e-Training on Enhancing Equipment Maintenance and Operation System
2020 e-Forum on Market, Economics and Technical Development in the Construction Sector (the is the online version of our usual November forum on Sustainable Construction)

Keep Your Distance. Stay Healthy. Stay Safe.

   YEOH WEE JIN
 

Source : SEAISI