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Sun 1 Apr 2007 02:52 PM

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Dubai Flower Centre attracts Iran

Central Asian countries have expressed an interest in utilising Dubai Flower Centre (DFC) to boost their export activities into Europe and the Far East, according to the facility's marketing director Ibrahim Ahli.

Central Asian countries have expressed an interest in utilising Dubai Flower Centre (DFC) to boost their export activities into Europe and the Far East, according to the facility's marketing director Ibrahim Ahli.

Representatives from the flower centre recently visited Central Asia to generate interest from the region, particularly from companies operating in Iran, which currently possesses 3000 flower production units.

The country also produces more than 1486 million stems of cut flowers, 38 million pot plants and 120 million trees and shrubs every year, which could prove potentially lucrative for facilities such as Dubai Flower Centre.

"Central Asian and Iranian flower exporters can greatly benefit from the proximity of Dubai and its excellent infrastructure including DFC's cool supply chain, which offers the ideal solution for transhipment of perishable cargo from these regions," said Ahli.

"DFC already houses international operators offering various services, which could immensely help countries from the region to increase their exports, especially with our capacity of 180,000 tonnes per annum," he added.

Iran is famous for its diverse floriculture products, which include tulips, hyacinth, chrysanthemums, carnations and iris. However, with nearly one million stems wasted every day due to lack of storage facilities, the country is eyeing the technology found at DFC.

DFC believes it can provide not only the logistical support the Iranian flower exports sector requires, but a strategic positioning for the GCC market as well. By paying a 5% customs duty at DFC, Iranian companies would be able to send products directly to any GCC countries.

"We can assure the Iranian producers and exporters that DFC offers a free zone environment, with no customs duty for cargo in transit and our connectivity to global markets through more than 117 airlines operating from Dubai International Airport," said Ahli.

Iran is currently preparing to build four terminals in Mazandaran, Markazi, Khuzestan, and Teheran. On completion, the terminals will be linked with hubs such as Dubai, Germany and the Netherlands.

"We noticed an eagerness from the Iranian industry professionals and other officials to cooperate and participate to work towards improving logistical support for the exporters," said Ahli.

"The DFC, which has already established itself as one of the leading transhipment hub for perishable goods, can surely support the Iranian floriculture industry as we have the necessary infrastructure to meet their requirements."

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