US Companies Increasingly Look to Jafza For Mideast Presence


Ibrahim Al Janahi, CFO, Jebel Ali Free Zone Authority
Ibrahim Al Janahi, CFO, Jebel Ali Free Zone Authority

DUBAI, Nov 23 — US companies see a lot of potential in Jafza  (Jebel Ali Free Zone Authority), and are interested in setting up their Middle East base of operations in the Free Zone.

The companies were briefed by a senior Jafza team led by Ibrahim al Janahi, Deputy CEO and Chief Commercial Officer Jafza and Economic Zones World, during Jafza’s US Road Show 2013.

The Jafza team, which also included Adil Al Zarooni, SVP Jafza Sales, and Ahmed bin Hareb, Senior Manager Sales for Americas Region, visited Washington DC, New York and Chicago, and briefed businesses on the services and facilities available at Jafza.

“The US is one of the UAE’s key trading partners, and Jafza is proud of the fact that approximately one-fifth of UAE’s trade with the US is done through the Free Zone,” Al Janahi said.

Ahmed bin Hareb said: “The facilities and services available at Jafza are second to none. This unique value proposition, coupled with Dubai’s status of fast becoming the global hub for commerce, is what drives interest among potential investors.” “The UAE is the United States’ single largest export market in the Middle East, with more than $22 billion in exports in 2012 – the fourth straight year the UAE has held this distinction. The UAE has trade relations with every state in the United States, as well as the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands,” he added.

More than 1000 US firms have a presence in UAE. Over 800 of these companies are operating out of Jafza, which represents more than 10 per cent of Jafza’s 7,100 company strong customer base.

As part of the Road Show, the Jafza team held discussions with the Citigroup, and addressed a seminar organised by the Internaional Trade Association of Greater Chicago and the Arab American Business Council, which included about 50 companies and organisations.

During their meetings, Al Janahi also talked about the Dubai Logistics Corridor, which provides a sea to air link through a single custom bonded area, and Jafza’s unique position at the heart of this corridor.

Speaking about Dubai’s bid to host World Expo 2020, as part of his presentation, Al Janahi said: “Dubai is the ideal and most eligible venue for such a major international event, because of its ultra-modern infrastructure, facilities and open approach to business and trade.”

“We have what it takes. We dream big and achieve it, we started on the path to success long ago,” Al Janahi added. “The journey will continue, whether we win the bid to host Expo 2020 or not.” He pointed out that Jafza’s aim is to facilitate the growth of its customers, and the Free Zone continually remains in dialogue with them to understand and be aware of their requirements, and provide customized solutions to meet their business needs.

The team met with potential customers in the specific sectors of trade, manufacturing, logistics, food and beverages, as well as pharmaceuticals in the three cities, and also met existing customers at their head offices, to strengthen the relationship, discuss their requirements and to inform them of upcoming opportunities within the Free Zone and the region.

The UAE Embassy in the US also extended its support to Jafza in introducing and providing information to potential US companies on an on-going basis.

Al Janahi also explained the extensive infrastructure laid out in Dubai, and the forthcoming Etihad Rail project, which will connect Jafza to the GCC and beyond, providing yet another channel for distribution of goods to a market of over 2 billion people in the greater Middle East region. –WAM


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