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AIM to highlight importance of free zones

DUBAI, March 27, 2017

The role of free zones in shaping and promoting competitive economy will be discussed at the Annual Investment Meeting (AIM) which will take place next month in Dubai, UAE.

The event aims to encourage international investments and enhance cooperation between countries, and will take place from April 2 to 4, at the Dubai World Trade Centre.

Spearheaded by leading experts of the industry, the discussion will focus on efforts of free zones in providing business-friendly processes that facilitate ease of doing business, said a statement.

In addition, the discussion will also shed light on importance of free zones as innovation hubs and highlight the challenges and issued faced by these trade zones, it said.

Dawood Al Shezawi, CEO, organising committee AIM, said: “Free zones play a crucial role in shaping and promoting competitive economy. As the procedures and policies for setting up a business in a free zone is quick and inexpensive, and taxes either minimal or non-existent, the free zones attract numerous foreign companies seeking to benefit from the commercial advantages and proximity to major international markets.”

“In addition, free zones adopt the principle of free trade, serving as major drivers for trade and investment,” he said.

A report by Dubai Silicon Oasis Authority (DSOA), the regulatory body for Dubai Silicon Oasis (DSO), in collaboration with Thomson Reuters identified cities where free zones are best positioned to drive the growth of Islamic economy sectors and ranked Dubai as the world's leading Islamic economy - enabling free zone city, followed by Kuala Lumpur and Johor Bahru in Malaysia and Manama in Bahrain.

The report estimates that in 2015 free zones contributed $55 billion to the Islamic economy, valued at $1.9 trillion, and projections suggest this number will increase to $117 billion by 2021.

Meanwhile, free zone contribution to the halal food sector amounted to $34 billion and is expected to hit $74 billion by 2021, while the $7 billion contribution to the modest fashion sector is projected to double by the same period.

Al Shezawi added: “As a centre of international trade, UAE free zones have been an important pillar of the country’s progressive economic growth. Similarly, free zones around the world have already attracted international investments with the potential to continue expansion.”

“At the event, participants will have an opportunity to explore key insights of the economic advantages offered by the free zones as well as facilitate the transfer of skills, knowledge and technology,” he said.

Free zones play a key role in globalising and diversifying a country’s economy. As most free zones are centrally located and well connected to the country’s infrastructure network, these lucrative trade zones strengthen the ties between countries facilitating growing partnerships, it stated. – TradeArabia News Service

Tags: | AIM | free zones | importance |

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