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Dafza seeks to attract Chinese investment
BY OUR BUSINESS BUREAU May 08, 2013
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DUBAI: Dubai Airport Freezone (Dafza) hosted a seminar in Shanghai, China, to showcase the benefits of investing in Dubai and specifically Dafza to representatives from major Chinese companies looking to enter the Middle East and North African market.

Jamal Bin Marghoob, Director of Marketing and Corporate Communications department, Dafza, said, “China is a world leader and has seen rapid economic growth, putting it in an excellent position for foreign investment, with regards to the distribution of its products to neighboring markets, especially the Mena region.”

“The major Chinese companies and investors are clearly defined within our marketing strategy, as well as the investment we are making in our new facilities and services to facilitate the work of our tenants, providing them the opportunity to compete in the target markets more easily.”

Marghoob stressed that the Freezone’s relationship with Chinese companies is as old as the economic relations between the two countries. China now accounts for 14 per cent of the Far East companies operating out of the Freezone, covering a variety of industry sectors including transportation, shipping, electronics and oil and gas sector, among these companies Cnooc, COSL Middle East Sinochem Corporation and China Southern Airlines.

He added,” During the past few years, we noticed a great plea from the Chinese companies to market their products in the Middle East and Africa region, which makes Dafza the ideal platform for them to target these markets.”

Approximately 3,800 Chinese companies are based in the UAE and China’s annual investment in the UAE was $170 million by the end of October 2012.

The UAE is China’s largest export market in the Gulf with bilateral trade between the two countries increasing 16 times since 2002 to reach $40.42 billion in 2012.

Trade between the UAE and China has grown from $50 million to $35 billion over the past three decades, translating to a growth rate of 35 per cent per annum. The increase saw a rise in the number of Chinese companies operating specifically within the logistics, aviation and energy sectors, which was 18 per cent in comparison to 2011.

Established in 1996 as a part of the Dubai Government’s strategic plan to be an investment driven economy, Dafza is one of the fastest growing premium free zones in the region. The free zone is currently home to over 1,600 companies from various industry sectors, including aviation, freight and logistics, IT and telecommunications, pharmaceuticals, engineering, food & beverage, jewelry and cosmetics.

Located strategically within the boundaries of Dubai International Airport, Dafza offers a range of modern facilities with a state-of-the-art infrastructure.

International investors can enjoy dynamic growth through Dafza’s excellent incentive packages including 100 per cent tax exemption, 100 per cent foreign ownership and no currency restrictions. Situated at the crossroads of Europe, Asia and Africa, Dafza is a gateway providing access to over 2.5 billion consumers.

In 2012, Dafza was name Number One Free Zone in the World by Foreign Direct Investment (fDi) magazine, moving up from second place in 2011. Previous accolades with fDi include number one Middle East free zone of the Future and number one free zone in the UAE and in the Middle East, in its 2011/12 rankings.

Dafza’s commitment to quality is recognised by worldwide ISO certificates for Quality, Environment, Health & Safety and Information Security Management System, as well as Complaints Handling System. In 2010, Dafza won the Dubai Quality Appreciation Programme award in the service category and in 2012 it was named Best free zone in the world by fDi.

WAM

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