Jafza Seminar attracts record number of investors
Jebel Ali Free Zone Authority (Jafza), the flagship Free Zone operation of Economic Zones World, has seen huge interest of Indonesian businesses in Jafza facilities and the Middle East markets at Jafza Business Seminar held in Jakarta last week.
The seminar, organised in collaboration with Indonesia Chamber of Commerce & Industry, was attended by more than 200 leading Indonesian exporters and manufacturers besides top UAE and Indonesian dignitaries including HE Ahmed Abdulla Mohammed AlMusalli Al Awady, the UAE Ambassador in Indonesia, HE Dr Edy Putra Irawady, deputy minister for industry, technology innovation and economic development, Indonesia and senior officials of Indonesia Chamber of Commerce & Industry.
Jafza Seminar was part of the Free Zone’s two-day roadshow in Indonesia that focused on strengthening Indonesia’s presence in the Free Zone and boosting Indonesia’s trade with the region through the Free Zone that is considered the trade and logistics hub for the entire Middle East region comprising South and West Asia, Africa and the CIS.
The roadshow was led by Ibrahim Mohamed AlJanahi, Deputy CEO and chief commercial officer and included Khalid Al Marzooqi, regional manager for Asia Pacific, Abdulaziz Redha, assistant manager of sales and Mania Merrikhi, project manager of marketing.
Ibrahim Mohammed Aljanahi in his welcome note said: “Indonesia and the UAE enjoy strong bilateral relations. Despite this the bilateral trade between the two countries hovers around just USD 2.5 billion, which is less than 1.5 percent of Indonesia’s global exports in 2013.
"I believe the prospects for boosting the volume of bilateral trade between the two countries are huge and need to be capitalised on. Our roadshow in Indonesia and the present Business Seminar seeks to do just this.
"Since the Middle East is largely an import driven region, huge possibilities await for Indonesian companies who may utilise Jafza’s outstanding infrastructure and its status as the region’s trade and logistics hub to establish and grow their presence and market share in the region.”
He also talked about the UAE’s recent 2020 World Expo bid win to host 2020 World Expo in Dubai and the event’s massive impact on the economic activities in Dubai and the region.
Aljanahi said: “World Expo 2020 in Dubai is expected to attract 25 million visitors to the Emirate and the region. To host such a massive event requires huge investment on upgrading of the existing infrastructure and at the same time building new facilities.
"This provides further boost to not only construction and infrastructure development sectors but all other sectors that are directly impacted by growing economic activities in the country and the region, opening huge opportunities for Indonesian businesses, which needs to be taken advantage of.”
Dr Edy Putra Irawady speaking on the occasion emphasised the need to explore business opportunities in the Middle East’s rapidly expanding markets and advised Indonesian businesses to take advantage of Jebel Ali Free Zone’s offerings to locate their operations in the Free Zone to serve the region.
He said: “The strong presence of Indonesian investors at the Jafza Business Forum reflects the strong desire on both sides to strengthen bilateral business between Indonesia and Jafza, which in effect would mean Indonesia’s stronger presence in the regional markets, which Jafza as a hub serves.
"I am sure Indonesian companies in the oil and gas, electronics, automotive, textiles, wood and wood products sectors, will take advantage of the growing opportunities in the region.”
He also talked about the Indonesian incubation facilities that are being planned in Jafza to encourage Indonesian SMEs to setup their base in the Free Zone to explore growth opportunities in the UAE and the region.
Khalid Al Marzooqi, regional manager for Asia Pacific in his presentation highlighted Jafza’s key value propositions and the Free Zone’s status as the trade and logistics hub for the Middle East and Africa region. He also highlighted huge opportunities for Indonesian companies in the region, which they can take advantage of from the Free Zone.
During the roadshow Jafza team met leading companies in oil and gas, electronics and other industrial sectors, who have shown their interest in the growing Middle East markets in their respective sectors.
Most of the countries in the Middle East region are investing heavily on building economic infrastructure to enable them to diversify their economies from oil to non-oil sectors.
This has impacted in shoring up demand in all other economic sectors spanning from building material, textiles, to petrochemicals and automotive, which are Indonesia’s stronger export sectors.
Khalid Al Marzooqi, regional manager for Asia Pacific, commenting on the expected outcome of the roadshow said:
“Looking at the warm response we received from Indonesian industrial sector we may see half a dozen new Indonesian companies joining Jafza this year.”
Indonesia-Jafza non-oil trade has grown over 70% in the last four years to reach USD 775 million in 2013. With anticipated growth Jafza - Indonesia bilateral trade may cross USD 1billion in 2015.