OECD/China/World Steel Association Workshop on Future Priorities for the Global Steel Industry
20-22 October 2010
At the invitation of the Chinese government, the OECD Steel Committee, at its meeting in May 2010, agreed to hold a workshop on steel in Beijing to discuss the future priorities for the global steel industry. Delegates felt that it would be appropriate to organise such a workshop in China, whose steel sector plays a key role in global steel industry developments. Reflecting its expanding industrial sector and rapid fixed-asset investment, China is now by far the world’s largest steel producing and consuming economy, and as such is playing a very important role in shaping the global steel industry.
The world steel industry is currently emerging from the worst slowdown in decades, marked by sharp reductions in production, trade, employment, and investment. The industry is now recovering, but the strength of the upturn varies significantly across regions. While further improvements are expected in the short term, it may take years for some parts of the sector to fully recover.
Strengthening the viability of the industry over the medium to longer term calls for further industry restructuring as well as new business strategies. Future priorities for the industry also include more efficient use of energy to mitigate climate change, and greater research and development to support the competitiveness of the steel industry and to develop solutions for cleaner steel production as well as steel applications that help reduce greenhouse gases.
The Workshop on “Future Priorities for the Global Steel Industry”, held jointly by the OECD, China, and the World Steel Association, will bring together policymakers and industry experts to take stock of present and future structural and policy developments occurring in the steel market, exchange views and experiences with climate change policies as they relate to steel, and to identify research priorities and technology needs. Through an extensive exchange of views, the workshop aims to better understand present and future developments affecting steel, with a view to the longer-term sustainability of the industry.
The three-day workshop will commence with a report on Chinese policy and industry developments followed by three sessions:
This session will provide insight into tomorrow’s steel market, both on a regional and global basis. Delegates will also exchange information on industry strategies aimed at overcoming the effects of the recent slowdown, how government policies are adapting to the post-recession situation, emerging issues affecting steelmaking raw material markets, and steel trade movements in a changed environment.
During this session, participants will exchange views on where the industry stands nationally and internationally in terms of environmental regulations, how these are implemented, and how they will shape the global steel industry. To achieve a globally acceptable solution to reduce CO2 emissions, intensified co-operation will also be considered in areas such as technology exchange and funding.
This session will focus on the impact of technological progress on the steel industry and how new developments will change in the industry structure. The purpose of this session is to inform participants about what is going on in the area of technological research in the steel industry and what effects these developments might have. Ultimately, this session is intended to stimulate discussion about the role that technology can and will play in shaping the industry’s future.
Each session will be guided by a moderator to stimulate debate among participants. The sessions will be opened with some general comments on the topic under discussion, followed by short interventions by discussants who will be asked to provide concise answers to a list of issues related to the topic being discussed. Following each intervention, three or four pressing questions might be posed to the speaker and Delegations will be invited to report on developments related to the issues under discussion, in particular developments related to the market, steel policies and steel trade. Having heard the general overview and the answers provided by the discussants, as well as individual statements made by Delegations, the moderator will then take an active role to summarize what he/she has heard so far and open a general debate, addressing specific questions to discussants, individual participants in the meeting as well as the audience. At the end of each session, the moderator will provide a short résumé of the discussions.
On the third and last day of the workshop (22 Oct.) a tour will be arranged to Tangshan Iron and Steel Group Corporation. TISCO was founded in 1943 with the first basic oxygen furnace installation in China. It has been one of the top ten integrated steel plants in China since then, and became part of the Hebei Group in 2008 (more under the pratical information link).
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