Thailand and Philippines set to boost Jafza investment
VIP trade delegations comprising senior trade development officials and businessmen from Thailand and the Philippines visited Jebel Ali Free Zone (Jafza) this week as part of an ongoing effort to further strengthen bilateral relations and boost trade.
Both the delegations were received by Ibrahim Mohamed Aljanahi, deputy CEO of Jafza who said the free zone has seen a robust growth in bilateral trade with Thailand and the Philippines in the last few years.
Aljanahi, in his meeting with the two delegations, discussed ways to further strengthen bilateral relations and boost trade exchange and invited more companies from both countries to join and leverage Jafza’s strategic position as the gateway and trade and logistics hub for the Middle East, Africa and the CIS markets to boost their business growth.
“The non-oil trade between Jafza and the Kingdom of Thailand crossed $1billion in 2013 posting a growth of 30% during the preceding five years,” said Aljanahi.
“The trade mostly comprised re-exports of Thai products to different GCC countries. The trade between Dubai and Thailand during the same period reached $4.6 billion.
"Thailand’s trade with Jafza comprised of building and construction material, chemicals, electronics, food and beverage and jewelry. Jafza-Philippine trade in 2013 reached US $190-million.”
The possibility to establish business incubators for Thailand and Philippine in Jafza were also discussed during the meeting.
“We have six business incubators operating in the free zone at present. Three more are expected to be operational soon,” Aljanahi said.
Business incubators are designed to support small and medium enterprises from countries who are interested in exploring business opportunities in the Middle East, Africa and the CIS, which Jafza as a trade and logistics hub serves.
Business Incubators are essentially a collaborative initiative between Jafza and the interested country to support SMEs.
Under the collaborative agreement Jafza leases a facility to the agency which in turn sub-leases operating space to the entrepreneur to have the first-hand experience of the regional markets and the business prospects for them therein, at a minimum cost.