Economy, Business And Markets

Time to Lift Industry Amid Growing Regional Demand

Time to Lift Industry Amid Growing Regional Demand
Time to Lift Industry Amid Growing Regional Demand

The 4th international exhibition of elevators, escalators, lifts, conveyors and related components and equipment opened in Tehran's permanent fairground on April 25, with a focus on exports.

As many as 230 companies from Iran and countries including China, Turkey, South Korea, Italy, Germany, and Bulgaria have showcased their latest products and latest achievements on a 12,000 square-meter venue, organizer of the 4-day event, Alireza Amookhteh told Donya-e Eqtesad newspaper.

He added that representatives from a number of popular journals on building transportation industry such as Elevator World, Asansor Dunyasi, Asansor Visio as well as domestic journals like Donya-e Asansor and Payampress have attended the exhibition.

Close to 40,000 elevator units are manufactured in the country every year, creating jobs for more than 10,000 people, said Amookhteh, adding that the downturn in the construction sector during the past three years negatively impacted the industry.

“Despite the fact that the domestic industry enjoys technical expertise and quality products, only about 120 elevator units are exported every year.”

The ‘Lift Manufacturing Association’ and the ‘Iranian Syndicate of Elevator and Escalator Industry’ are the two major entities in the industry with 170 and 1,000 members respectively, Amookhteh added.  

Experts believe organizing such events will help introduce the capacities in the industry and increase interaction between different elements of the sector.

 Not Merely Industrial

Meanwhile, Mehdi Hashemi, the chairman of the parliamentary development commission, said the elevator industry should not be regarded only as an industrial sector but that other aspects such as architecture, electronics, safety, and standardization should also be taken into consideration.

“The country’s elevator industry should move towards acquiring the latest global standards and enhancing efficiency. The industry players are expected to reduce overheads and improve after-sale services in order to increase customer satisfaction,” said the lawmaker.    

According to Hashemi, the inadequate space designated for lifts in big buildings poses restrictions on passenger capacity and optimal speed among others.

The increasing demand for elevators and escalators for urban usages makes it necessary to set acceptable technical standards for designing, manufacturing, sales, installation, safety, and maintenance.

Referring to the national building regulations, which require specific standards to boost the quality and safety of elevators, the parliamentarian underlined the need to keep up with the latest technology and revise existing standards and regulations.

“Unfortunately poor standards have led to a number of tragic incidents in the past few years,” noted the chairman of the Association of Manufacturers and Repairers of Electromechanical Devices, Ali-Akbar Ilkhani.

“Elevators are lifelines of the construction industry, especially for skyscrapers, and it is vital to supply the market with quality products,” Donya-e Eqtesad quoted head of the National Association of Mass-Constructors, Jamshid Barzegar, who called on various syndicates and associations to unify and pursue integrated policies.

According to Barzegar, possible lifting of western sanctions (imposed on Iran by the West over its nuclear energy program) could positively impact the construction sector, giving rise to demands for elevators and escalators.

 Growing Demand

In 2012, approximately 500,000 new elevators were sold around the world. According to reports, more than 700,000 elevator units will be installed in Africa and Middle East by 2018. The elevator and escalator market in the Persian Gulf states is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 5.39% over the period 2013-2018. Such impressive numbers are due to rapid urbanization in the region since the increase in construction of commercial, residential, and industrial buildings drives the growing demand for elevators and escalators.

According to a study conducted by Ventures Middle East, the global demand for elevator equipment and services was $86 billion in 2012. In order to get a fair share of such a huge market, at least in the region, Iranian elevator and escalator manufacturers need to upgrade their products and meet global standards.