Iskamdar Malaysia ranked 4th best future global free zone

Romantic sunset at the beach in Malaysia

JOHOR BAHRU, Sept 7 (Bernama) — Iskandar Malaysia boosted its competitive edge as the best choice for investment destination with the recognition as the fourth Global Free Zone Of the Future 2012/2013 by fDi Magazine of Financial Times Ltd.

Iskandar Regional Development Authority (IRDA) chief executive officer, Datuk Ismail Ibrahim, said the recognition would definitely help ‘bookmark’ Iskandar Malaysia in the minds of the businessmen, corporate leaders and policymakers.

“We at IRDA are fully committed to sustain and improve Iskandar Malaysia’s attractiveness and ease of doing business,” he said in a a statement here today.

via Iskamdar Malaysia ranked 4th best future global free zone | My Sinchew.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Lekki Free Trade Zone to generate 1m jobs

The president of Nigeria, Goodluck Jonathan, a...

The hope of generating more jobs through Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) will soon become a reality once the Lekki Free Trade Zone (LFTZ)  begins operation. It is expected to generate about one million jobs. This is the view of many stakeholders who shed more light on the advantage of the project.

Consistent with the strategic intent to make the LFTZ a major growth driver and  catalyst for socio-economic development, the Federal Government has pledged its unflinching support to the Lagos State Government, the consortium of Chinese investors and other stakeholders to ensure the take-off of the LFTZ in earnest.

Also, LFTZ management has recorded some significant developments, thus reinforcing the viability of the project as a kickstarter  for economic transformation.

The Executive Secretary, Africa Free Zones Authority (AFZA),  Chris Ndibe, said if properly managed, the project is capable of generating about one million jobs annually, which is in keeping with the transformation agenda of President Goodluck Jonathan.

Minister for Trade and Investment Olusegun Aganga said this is in line with the Federal Government’s agenda to create jobs for Nigerians, especially, the youth.

via The Nation – ‘Lekki Free Trade Zone to generate 1m jobs’

Company registrations at JLT jump 38%

This is a photo showing the construction of Ju...

DUBAI — Jumeirah Lake Towers, or JLT, one of the fastest growing mixed-use free zones in the UAE, recorded a 38 per cent growth in company registrations during the first 10 months of 2011 compared to same period last year.

The Dubai Multi Commodities Centre (DMCC) Authority, the licencing authority for JLT, on Saturday announced that it has registered over 1,000 companies in the first ten months of the year, bringing the total number of registered companies to over 3,600. DMCC witnessed 725 company registrations from January to October, 2010.

The centre continues to attract companies to the JLT Free Zone from a wide-range of business sectors, industries and geographies. Of these new companies over 90 per cent are first time entrants to Dubai with registrations equally balanced between well-established multinationals like Diamdel (De Beers Group) and Harley-Davidson, and smal-l and medium- enterprises and entrepreneurs.

“Every year, we challenge ourselves to set new records and this year is no exception. Registering 1,000 new companies in just 10 months is testimony to the success of our business strategy,” DMCC chairman Ahmed bin Sulayem said in a statement.

Solid growth clearly highlights Dubai’s position as the leading business destination in the region, Bin Sulayem said, adding: “Going forward, we will focus on driving company registrations, introducing new and improved services and innovative products, as well as investing in JLT’s infrastructure and so pursuing our mission to enhance trade flows through Dubai.”

JLT-based companies enjoy attractive benefits under the free zone status, including a 50-year guaranteed tax holiday, 100 per cent business ownership, full ownership of business premises, and a secure, regulated environment.

via Business : Company registrations at JLT jump 38%

South Africa in the Free Zone

Jacob Zuma and Jakaya Kikwete - Africa's Role ...

The visit to Oman of the President of South Africa, Dr Jacob Zuma, is part of a long and well orchestrated process designed to bring the two nations together in friendship, trade and tourism. The links being strengthened are the result of lengthy contacts and negotiations, which started with the establishment of a South African Embassy in the Sultanate. Oman was fortunate in South Africa’s choice and the South African diplomatic team went about the task of establishing closer ties between the two nations with zeal and enthusiasm.

The visit of the South African President this week is thus putting the seal on a friendship now well established and given the maritime links of both nations it is fitting that the South Africans are putting much energy in establishing links with the ever growing Port of Sohar and it’s free zone. Much work has been done at a diplomatic and commercial level to organise a very substantial investment in Free Zone Sohar, which is now clearly going to bear fruit.

Private industry interests both in South Africa and Oman have been working on plans to build a vast cold storage facility in the Free Zone for the storage of fresh produce, which will allow fresh products from South Africa to be exported to the whole region. When the facility is completed it will mean that Oman will no longer have to import South African fresh fruit from Dubai. Instead Oman will be exporting South African fruit and fresh products.

The link will be with Johannesburg Market, a wholly owned entity of the city of Johannesburg Municipality, which deals in over 1 million tonnes of fresh produce every year, making it the largest market of this type in the world in terms of volume.

This however is just one example of close co-operation. There are many more. As South Africa’s current Ambassador to the Sultanate, Yusuf Saloojee pointed out the recently signed Partnership Forum Agreement signed by the two nations allows for co-operation in the fields of education, science, technology and agriculture. Part of the visit too is a forum at the Al Bustan Hotel where prominent Omani and South African business representatives are meeting today.

There is also scope for tourism development, especially if direct flights can be established. With South Africa concentrating these days on increasing links through the Brics group of nations (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) it is becoming increasingly important commercially, politically and diplomatically. Oman has a powerful friend.

via Welcome South Africa | Oman Observer

Dubai exports driven by free zones

Dubai - Internet City and Media City

Businesses operating from free zones in Dubai now drive a full 40 per cent of the emirate’s Dh217 billion (US$59bn) export market as the importance of the economic clusters continues to grow.

Companies based in these economic hubs exported or re-exported Dh86bn worth of goods during the first half of the year.

That compares with Dh131bn worth of direct exports and re-exports from local businesses outside the free zones, according to Dubai Exports, an agency under the Government’s Department of Economic Development.

“The start of this year has been very promising, particularly in terms of trade and exports for Dubai,” said Saed Al Awadi, the chief executive of Dubai Exports. “Exports are continuously growing, with some products showing high potential to expand further.”

India alone commanded a 45 per cent share of the value of total exports from Dubai during the first six months of the year, which is up from an average of 40 per cent for all of last year. The country’s appetite for gold and jewellery has helped to make it the top export destination for the emirate.

Switzerland is another popular export destination for the same reason. India and Switzerland together accounted for 87 per cent of Dubai’s precious-metals exports last year.

Demand for Dubai’s commodities has been growing globally as more investors flee to what they perceive are safe alternatives to local stock markets, which have been volatile of late.

Exports of prepared food products, chemicals and cement have also been strong and are expected to grow further, said Mr Awadi.

But the growth of trade from Dubai’s free-zone businesses, in particular, illustrates how much of an effect these companies are having on the local economy.

The first free zone, Jafza,opened 26 years ago at the port of Jebel Ali. This hub, along with others that were launched about that time, were “started initially to promote re-export”, says Jitendra Gianchandani, the chairman and managing partner of Jitendra Consulting Group, which advises businesses about free zones.

Yet many business consultancies have also popped up in newer free zones in recent years.

While the turnover of these consulting services are not included in Dubai Exports data, they are also having a major effect on the local economy, experts say.

More than 50 free-zone companies in the information and communications technology sector alone have expanded their operations this year, said Malek Sultan Al Malek, the managing director of Dubai Outsource Zone and Dubai Internet City.

via Dubai exports driven by free zones – The National.

Use an SA company to trade in the free zone

This is a photo showing the construction of Li...

Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC)-registered companies will have to be located within the free zone or they will lose their registration, a senior government official has reiterated.

“The UAE’s federal law stipulates that any company registered by a free zone has to have a presence in that free zone and, therefore, it has always been mandatory for any DIFC registered company to be located in the centre or it would lose its registration,” Abdulla Mohammed Al Awar, Chief Executive Officer, DIFC Authority, told ‘Emirates24|7’.

“However, we work closely with the registered firms to ensure that their location transition to DIFC is as smooth as possible and would not disturb their business plans.”

A number of DIFC-registered companies were allowed to conduct business outside its premises due to lack of space in 2007 and 2008 with companies also taking advantage of lower rents than the free zone.

Total leasable commercial space in DIFC’s own buildings stood at 1.217 million square feet as of June 2011, while total commercial office space within third party developers was at 769,000 square feet. Earlier this year, DIFC said about two million square feet of commercial office space was likely to be handed over by third-party developers in the next 18 to 24 months.

This website reported earlier that occupancy level in DIFC Gate District has remained at over 95 per cent, while third-party developments within the free zone have leased 58 per cent of their office space.

Realty agents believe that most of the DIFC-listed companies have already moved base to the third party developments within the free zone  where rents are lower than the Gate District.

A senior official of a company, which moved its office to Liberty House, told this website: “We directly negotiated with the owners and managed to get a good deal… just that we had to sign a long-term lease.”

via DIFC firms must be located within the free zone – Emirates 24/7

Global logistics hub

Satellite view of Salalah

Salalah Free Zone is delighted to pledge our support to the development of the new sea-air cargo corridor with Oman Air and the Port of Salalah. We are focused on creating opportunities that promote international business growth and enhance trade routes by providing competitive connectivity and efficient flow of goods and services. This is an important step in supporting the Omanv  government’s policy of economic growth and diversification, and in realising our vision of becoming a global logistics hub,” Eng. Awadh added.

Ali Tabouk, Salalah Free Zone’s chief commercial officer, said, “The ongoing expansion at the Salalah port and international airport, combined with Salalah Free Zone’s established infrastructure and customer-focused value proposition will provide the favourable elements to attract industrial, trade and logistics activities. We are committed to collectively work together to attract new foreign investment in Oman.”

Salalah Free Zone and Oman Air jointly launched the new Sea-Air-Free Zone Salalah Hub at Thailand‘s Global Logistics Network conference held last month in Bangkok, presenting the concept to 300 international logistics and supply chain specialists focusing on their combined logistical and operational synergetic offering.

According to Tabouk, talks are underway with a number of international investors from Europe and Asia that have shown a keen interest in SFZ’s expansion to establish regional distribution and logistics centres in Salalah due to its competitive offering and global reach.

via Salalah Free Zone to join forces with Oman Air and Port of Salalah to develop global logistics hub | Salalah Free Zone |

Cochin Port invites bidders for free warehousing zone

Cochin Port Trust

KOCHI: Cochin Port Trust (CPT) on Thursday issued a notice inviting expression of interest to set up a free trade warehousing zone (FTWZ) at Willingdon Island. The last date for submission of expression of interest is November 21, 2011.

The CPT will offer 102 acres of land located at the southern end of the island to set up a port-based FTWZ. Even though ports like Mumbai already have a FTWZ, the CPT aims to develop it as a full-fledged international logistics hub, along the lines of Jurong in Singapore and Jebel Ali in Dubai.

via Cochin Port invites potential bidders for warehousing zone – Times Of India

Indian IT companies will flock to Hamriya Free Zone

The interior of a building in the Technopark, ...

Image via Wikipedia

More Indian IT companies are flocking to the UAE to capture a share of the mobile applications and related IT services  currently booming in the region.

Speaking to Emirates 24/7, Dr Rasheed Al Leem, director general of Sharjah Sea Port, Customs and Hamriya Free Zone, said he expects more Indian IT companies to flock to the UAE as a follow up of a memorandum of understanding signed between the Hamriya Free Zone and Technopark, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala. “Currently, there are 5,500 companies from 137 countries operating in the Hamriya Free Zone and 1,448 companies are from India.”

Neologix Software Solutions of India has launched their Middle East operations, the first offspring of the Hamriya Free Zone-Technopark  partnership. A memorandum of understanding between the two entities was signed recently for IT cooperation. “India is the second biggest investment destination for the UAE and as per recent announcements, the UAE will be investing several billion dirhams in India.”

via ‘Indian IT companies will flock to Hamriya Free Zone’ – Emirates 24/7

DAFZ promotes e-services


Dubai Airport Free Zone (DAFZ) is showcasing its latest e-services for potential and existing companies at GITEX TECHNOLOGY WEEK. The Free Zone is showing off its new iPhone application, available for download now from the iTunes store, which provides companies interested in locating their premises at DAFZ with information on the zone, plus application forms to register online. The service is also available for existing DAFZ resident companies, to deliver a range of online services through the mobile platform.

The new app is part of DAFZ’s continuous programme of development of e-services for its customers, under the overall strategic vision for eGovernment in Dubai. DAFZ offers over 200 e-services for resident companies and others, with no manual transactions.

“All of the services that DAFZ provides to our established companies are online, we don’t really have manual applications forms or procedures, all the services are online for all the clients,” says Buthaina Hamad Bin Fahad, Director, Information and Communication Technology, Dubai Airport Free Zone.

DAFZ is also showing an interactive 360 degree online photo of the Free Zone on its web site, to give prospective residents a more in depth understanding of its facilities and locations.

The Free Zone is also promoting its Business Enabled Offices service at GITEX. The Business Enabled Office is intended to give SMEs, or larger companies looking to establish a regional presence, the ability to set up a complete office in DAFZ, for just AED 7000 per month.

via DAFZ promotes e-services – GITEX 2011 –