UAE, May 20, 2017 – H.H. Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman of the Dubai Free Zone Council, and H.E. Dr. Mohammed Al Zarooni, Chairman of the World Free Zones Organization (WFZO), have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) aimed at establishing a framework for cooperation in exchanging expertise and knowledge, organizing seminars and courses, and developing work in Dubai’s free zones.
Under the terms of the MoU, the Council will promote the membership, services, activities and sponsorship of the WFZO following the announcement of Dubai’s hosting of the fourth and sixth editions of the WFZO’s annual conference and exhibition in 2018 and 2020. The fourth edition will be held from April 30 to May 2, 2018 under the theme ‘10x Free Zones: The Road to Prosperity’ with the participation of global free zone leaders, experts and representatives.
For its part, the WFZO will develop plans for conducting seminars and training courses for Dubai’s free zone employees and coordinate with the Council in the former’s participation in external events and attendance in local and international conferences and meetings.
During the signing, H.H. Al Maktoum affirmed the Council’s commitment to supporting all efforts aimed at enhancing the competitiveness of Dubai’s free zones and elevating their role in the international economy. He expressed his happiness over the achievements of the organization and its distinguished journey since its launch in Dubai.
His Highness said: “The general framework of the MoU focuses on the pillars and objectives of the Council’s strategy to ensure the collaborative work of intellectual leadership and increase awareness on the benefits of free zones worldwide. The Dubai Free Zone Council has played an important role in supporting all government and private sector initiatives to enhance Dubai’s position as a global hub for foreign direct investment. We are confident that through our partnership with the World Free Zones Organization, we will move to the forefront of knowledge and the global economy through our participation in the Organization’s activities and its membership under the Council, which was formed in Dubai to embrace international free zones under one umbrella and help advanced free zone development worldwide.
Following the signing of the agreement, H.E. Dr. Al Zarooni said: “We thank H.H. Sheikh Ahmed Bin Saeed Al Maktoum and the members of the Free Zone Council in Dubai for welcoming this kind of partnership. The World Free Zones Organization will complement the important role of the strategic Council and will be one of the most important supporters of efforts to develop the role of free zones and make Dubai a top global destination for foreign direct investment. The organization was established to support free zones in increasing its contributions to the local, regional and international economies.”
Dr. Al Zarooni emphasized that the WFZO’s close affiliation with one of the most important international councils of free zones is an important opportunity for its more than 307 members to take advantage of Dubai’s exceptional model as a leading free zone hub ranking on top of the world’s most competitive indices.
The signing of the Memorandum of Understanding between the Dubai Free Zone Council and the World Free Zones Organization reflects the limitless support given by H.H. Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum to WFZO and its future projects and objectives since its establishment. He affirmed that his support is an important incentive for the free zones who joined the Council and its economic development mission from 72 countries to form new partnerships and meetings with fellow members.
H.E. noted the importance of the signing of the memorandum of understanding given the forward-looking initiatives launched by the World Free Zones Organization – including a free zones Executive Education Program which will drive the process of building knowledge and innovation in the management of free zones. The program is designed in conjunction with IESE Business School, which is at the forefront of executive education according to the Financial Times 2017. The program includes four major modules including international economics, marketing, operational management, and others. It is scheduled to be completed in six months at the four global cities of Dubai, New York, Barcelona and Shanghai. The Executive Education Program forms part of the next project agenda, which includes the Future Free Zone, Free Zone Horizons, and Safe Zone Certification.
The services of the World Free Zones Organization fall under three categories. Its Knowledge category includes services from the Observatory of the World Free Zones Organization and rich Encyclopedias in various aspects of free zones as well as the Open University of Free Zones. Under the Networking category, the WFZO offers services focused on direct business meetings, the commercial market, and the evaluation of the global activities of the organization and its members. Under the Support category, the organization provides services in preparation for future free zones, credits, and prizes as well as innovation.