DUBAI, May 1, 2023 (WAM).- Dubai will host the World Free Zones Organisation (World FZO’s) 9th Annual International Conference & Exhibition from May 2 to 3, under the patronage and presence of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Vice President and Prime Minster of the UAE, Ruler of Dubai. Sheikh Ahmed bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum is the Second Deputy Ruler and Chairman of Dubai Media Council.
The theme of this year’s event was ‘Global Trade 2.0 – Zones: An Ecosystem for Trust Driving Prosperity’. This reflects the Organisations commitment to facilitating free zones’ contribution to economic ecologies as a reliable way to promote intraregional trade and to develop global supply chains on a local level, regionally and globally.
Nineth edition of the event will bring together representatives from around the world to discuss important topics and priorities in the industry. The event will bring together more than 600 business leaders, experts, and professionals from the free zone, logistics, and trade sectors as well as entrepreneurs and investors from over 70 different countries.
Dr. Mohammed Al Zarooni said that the ninth edition of this event represented a new step on the journey of the World Free Zones Organisation as we prepare for our first decade in operation. The results of this event will help us to develop our strategic goals for the next five-year period and solidify the role of free zones as an economic concept that can drive the global economy. It is especially important in a time where governments are looking for economic approaches to keep up with the rapid changes, and shifts towards knowledge-based activities and high-tech industries.
This year’s edition provides insights into global best practice and the latest emerging trend and innovation in the free zone industry. World FZO is a global platform for free zones that serves as a voice and a forum to share information and knowledge. Its goal is to help free zones play a greater role in attracting investment and driving economic development. The World FZO’s role is crucial, as more than one third of all global trade goes through free zones. These zones are responsible for ensuring the sustainability, safety, and resilience of international trade.
Dubai, the official headquarters for the World FZO was selected as the venue of the event because of its strategic importance and size. The emirate also continues to provide outstanding expertise, capabilities, and support in order to contribute to the growth of the free-zone model as an integral component of an integrated economy ecosystem. During its last meeting in Jamaica, the Board of Directors of World FZO chose Dubai unanimously as the venue for this year’s event.
“Dubai is a model of development and expansion for free zones around the world. It is also home to many of the world’s most successful free-zones, with a wide range of sectors and specialisations. The emirate’s free zones also continue to be a benchmark for excellence in free zones around the world by adopting new technology and innovation into their policies, laws and operations,” Al Zarooni said.
“Undoubtedly, the free zones of Dubai have played a significant role in the globalization of the free-zone model. Locally, the sector is a success story, offering a dynamic environment, ideal infrastructure, services and facilities, economic incentives.
The event will welcome high-level officials and ministers from various countries to a ministerial discussion titled “The Role Governments Play in the Development of Free Zones and Improving their Performance”. This session is an excellent opportunity to identify ways to help governments achieve their objectives to ensure that their free zones are operating at the highest levels and to find solutions to the current challenges. The most important thing is to have accurate data about the direct and indirect contribution of free zones in the economy of countries.
The event will also focus on current global trade challenges, with an emphasis on the post COVID-19 period and impact on global trading. Agenda includes five panel discussions with 30 speakers highlighting themes focused on reducing the impact of economic issues, designing, building and maintaining ecosystems of confidence, and ways to ensure the vitality and prosperity of free zones by using strategies to ensure their prosperity. These sessions will also cover how to handle changes in institutional governance, and build trust in data and digitisation.
The Organisation currently has over 1550 members in 140 countries. It is represented globally through 12 regional offices and 42 focal points at national level. As free zones depend more on the Organisation’s contributions, services, and network of strategic partnerships of high quality that binds its members, its role continues to grow.
The number of free zones, their size, their importance and their position on the value chain have all increased. They have also expanded their activities into new sectors such as artificial intelligence, healthcare and digital commerce. The growth of employment and contribution of free zones in the global economy has been impressive.
Since its founding less than 10 years ago, the World FZO is dedicated to strengthening its membership and providing comprehensive, high-quality services to all its members. The Organization is dedicated to encouraging constructive dialog between all parties, and is eager to create opportunities for collaboration to achieve its strategic goal to achieve growth and prosperity in global economies using the free zone model.