World Free Zone Summit Calls For Increased Synergy Between Free Zones

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3rd November 2010, 10:15am - Views: 1497

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World Free Zone Summit Calls for Increased Synergy Between Free Zones

RAS AL KHAIMAH, UAE, Nov. 3 /PRNewswire-AsiaNet/ --

    - His Highness Sheikh Saud bin Saqr Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and 

Ruler of Ras Al Khaimah, Opens Prestigious Summit

    The two-day World Free Zone Convention 2010 opened at Ras Al

Khaimah's Al Hamra Convention Centre today with a clarion call for increased

cooperation between the world's free zones to ultimately benefit their

clients and remain profitable.

    The 10th edition of this industry event, hosted by Ras Al

Khaimah Free Trade Zone (RAK FTZ), was inaugurated by His Highness Sheikh

Saud bin Saqr Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Ras Al Khaimah,

in his first-ever official event since becoming the emirate's ruler.

    The World Free Zone Convention 2010 will hosts over 200

international and regional delegates reviewing the opportunities ahead for

free zones worldwide in the current economic climate.

    H.H. Sheikh Saud said: "We welcome initiatives such as the

World Free Zone Convention that further underline Ras Al Khaimah's profile as

an important free zone innovator on an international level. The convention

comes at an important time when our economic policies are beginning to

deliver success and leading to strategic partnerships with key players across

the world."

    Held under the patronage of H.H. Sheikh Saud, the prestigious

two-day conference and exhibition featured a keynote address by Her

Excellency Sheikha Lubna bint Khalid bin Sultan Al Qasimi, UAE Minister for

Foreign Trade, is hosted by His Highness Sheikh Faisal bin Saqr Al Qasimi,

Chairman and Mr. Oussama El Omari, CEO of RAK FTZ and attended by Mr. Graham

Mather, World Free Zone Convention Chairman and President of European Policy

Forum, London & Brussels and other international dignitaries.

    Oussama El Omari touched upon success factors for free zones

urging his peers to explore building relationships with their counterparts in

other countries in order to ensure expansion and increased market share.

    "Many decision-makers in supra-national organisations such as

the World Trade Organisation, UNIDO, UNICTAD, OECD and the European

Commission make the superficial argument that when tariffs disappear economic

incentives for free zones will die and zones will dissolve," El Omari said.

"They simply do not understand yet that zones have transformed themselves

into leading service centres for attracting foreign investment in the world

and are greatly needed."

    In her keynote address, Sheikha Lubna pointed out to the

significant contribution made to the economy by the 36 free zones operating

Business Company Ras Al Khaimah Free Trade Zone Authority 3 image

in the UAE. "The UAE's Free Zone model has proved to be an excellent catalyst

for development in line with our vision for diversified economic growth. Our

free zones are very unique in that they were developed in accordance with an

economic development strategy that puts economic diversification and creating

a suitable economic and business climate as a top priority," she said.

    "Moreover, the total value of Foreign Direct Investments that

have flowed into the United Arab Emirates (through free zones) has reached

approximately USD 73 Billion (AED 268 billion), making us the second most FDI

attractive country in the Arab World, according to the UN Conference on Trade

and Development [UNCTAD]," Sheikha Lubna said.

    The minister added that the UAE is ranked 14th globally in the

number of new Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) projects in 2009, accounting

for 230 projects or 1.7 per cent of the overall global share of new FDIs, as

per the UNCTAD report. "We have been able to successfully grow our projects

by 123 per cent in just a span of five years," she said.

    "Free zones in the UAE play a very important role in

international trade and re-export activities. The UAE is now one of the top

commercial centers in the world and this is further strengthening the

competitiveness of its investors as they enter new markets and expand their

commercial operations," Sheikha Lubna said.

    The convention also featured Graham Mather, Chairman, World

Free Zone Convention Chairman and President of European Policy Forum, London

& Brussels, along with a host of international dignitaries and important

speakers from various organisations around the world.

    During the convention, free zone representatives will examine

ways to further attract the small and medium business (SMB) sector to operate

within their purview. "We believe that the global SMB sector is extremely

under-served and constantly explores cost-effective solutions to launch

business operations. Therefore, it is this important segment that will

continue to remain the focus of our dialogue during the convention," said El


    RAK FTZ is the Platinum Sponsor of the two-day conference and

exhibition, being held under the theme 'Gathering Global Support For Free

Zone Industry' and the slogan 'Harnessing economic zones worldwide to the

cause of economic recovery, dynamic growth and strengthened world trade.'

    Details about the convention and its agenda are available on

    About the Ras Al Khaimah Free Trade Zone Authority:

    Ras Al Khaimah Free Trade Zone (RAK FTZ) is one of the

fastest-growing and most cost-effective free trade zones in the United Arab

Emirates (UAE). With a reputation for affordability, flexibility and broad

geographical reach, RAK FTZ is rapidly emerging as the preferred business hub

in the region, from which investors can easily access and branch into the

emerging markets.

    Since its establishment in 2000, with only a handful of staff

and a few offices, the free zone has grown by leaps and bounds and is now

home to some 4,000+ active companies from 106 countries around the globe,

operates business and promotion centres in four locations in the UAE and has

an expanding international presence, with liaison offices in Germany, Turkey,

India and the USA.

    RAK FTZ has also created a unique, four-park system comprised

of its Business Park, Industrial Park, Technology Park and Academy Zone, each

of which offers identical advantages and benefits to investors. With its

Business Company Ras Al Khaimah Free Trade Zone Authority 4 image

cutting-edge technology and keen customer focus, the free trade zone offers

on-demand and custom-built support services. Backed by legislation allowing

100% foreign ownership and 100% capital and profit repatriation, a tax-free

environment, and transparent laws, the free trade zone is well positioned for

global commerce.

    To learn more about the RAK Free Trade Zone, visit:


    For further information, please contact:


Cleo Eleazar

    Public Relations and Media Officer

    Ras Al Khaimah Free Trade Zone Authority (RAK FTZA)

    Phone: +971-7-2077173


    Edward D'Mello

    Senior Consultant

    Sphinx Holding Public Relations

    Tel : +971-50-6776153


    SOURCE: Ras Al Khaimah Free Trade Zone Authority

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