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Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum visits World FZO in Dubai

Conference augments the role of free zones to support flexibility in international trade and encourage FDI.

His Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, President of Dubai Civil Aviation, Chairman and Chief Executive Emirates Airline and Group, and Chairman of Dubai Airport Free Zone Authority (DAFZA), visited the first conference and exhibition of the World Free Zones Organization (World FZO), the multi-lateral not-for-profit, global association for free zones.

At the opening of the conference, His Highness was briefed on the event in the presence of a distinguished gathering of policymakers, academics, economists and entrepreneurs.

The 2015 edition of the conference focuses on the theme, “Towards a New Global Trade Order” and is held Under the Patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates and Ruler of Dubai.

His Highness Sheikh Ahmed was accompanied during the visit by Dr. Mohammed Alzarooni, World FZO Chairman and Director General at DAFZA, Board members of the World Free Zones Organization and delegations participating in the event.

In his meeting with the Board members, His Highness Sheikh Ahmed praised their strategic role in the development of national and international economies and the role of free zones in enhancing international trade.

The Board of Directors presented to His Highness the vision and mission of the Organization, as well as strategic objectives and plans.

His Highness Sheikh Ahmed stated that the first annual conference represents a significant step in the development of the World Free Zones Organization in relation to the export of free zones expertise and enhancing their trade and investment impact in the global economy. In addition, he said with continued government support, Dubai has succeeded in establishing itself as an impressive international economic force and an influential pioneer in the implementation of the free zone model and a major destination for foreign investment and international trade.

His Highness added, “The event demonstrates the commitment and vision of the World Free Zones Organization, aimed at strengthening the role of free zones in advancing the growth of the global economy. Free zones contribute to the opening of new investment prospects to diversify the sources of domestic income, increase job opportunities for future generations, and therefore contribute effectively to development of the economies.”

Commenting on the occasion, World FZO Chairman Dr. Mohammed Alzarooni said: “Free Zone Outlook International gathers some of the world’s leading economic and trade experts to discuss the most pressing issues facing free zones and global free trade flow today. High profile trade and free zone experts will share knowledge and expertise as to how the free zone model is being used around the world to achieve specific national, regional and international economic and business objectives.”

He added: “As the global association for free zones, we have a strategic role to play in facilitating the exchange of best practice and present platforms such as the Annual Conference to explore how we can augment and further develop the role of free zones. This is to enhance international trade, and ensure countries are optimized for international investment, without changing the rules for entire nations.”

The 1st Annual international conference and exhibition takes place between May 11 and 13, 2015, provides a platform that enables international delegates to discuss best practices and the latest emerging trends to achieving sustainable growth in the macroeconomic environment.

The conference also sees the publication of the first World Free Zones Organization Manifesto, which outlines the Organization’s strategic vision and mission that represent the foundations of the organization. The objectives of the organization primarily focuses on the representation of the interests of free zones within the international community and to provide a global platform for the exchange of knowledge. In addition, it promotes focused research and insights to raise awareness about the advantages of free zones to attract foreign direct investment, boost trade, create jobs to support global economic prosperity.