JAFZA looks to strengthen cooperation with US firms
Jebel Ali Free Zone has organised a business forum for US companies operating in the free zone to strengthen cooperation and to explore opportunities in a range of major sectors in the Middle East and African regions.
Details of the companies’ expansion plans and their needs for Jafza to enhance infrastructure and increase efficiency were also discussed at the forum attended by Mohammed Al Muallem, CEO of Jafza and senior vice president & managing director of DP World- UAE Region, Nasir Abbasi, commercial attaché at the US Consulate in Dubai and senior officials from the American Business Council.
Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem, group chairman and CEO of DP World and chairman of Ports, Customs and Free Zone Corporation, was also there and highlighted the strong trade relations that have developed between the UAE and the US through economic partnerships. Trade between Jafza and the US reached $4.1 billion in 2015.
“Foreign Direct Investment is a major thrust of the Government’s economic policy and Jafza is part of that initiative with firm and growing partnerships with US companies in the freezone,” he said.
Abbasi commended the efforts of the UAE Government in providing business-friendly processes that has catapulted UAE’s global ranking to 31 in the World Bank report on the ease of doing business— and first position in the Middle East and North Africa region.
He said that the importance of the country as a hub for logistical and commercial re-export of American products to regional markets due to its strategic location, superior infrastructure and logistics services is one of its unique advantages.
“The ease of conducting business is also a decisive factor for American and other international companies looking to base themselves in the UAE,” he added.
Danny Sebright, president of the US-UAE Business Council said the UAE is the largest market for US exports in the Middle East and North Africa region, with US exports reaching $22.38 billion in 2016 and total trade between the two countries of $25.74 billion.
Jafza is home to over 400 US companies, including a number of Fortune Global 500 American companies such as General Motors, HP, Dow Chemicals, Ford, General Electric, Caterpillar, FedEx, P&G and Johnson & Johnson.