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Tue 12 Apr 2016 01:55 PM

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Dubai free zones said to drive $136bn of trade

DIFC CEO tells conference that free zones are instrumental to emirate's growth and foreign investment

Dubai free zones said to drive $136bn of trade

Dubai’s free zones together represent more than AED500 billion ($136 billion) of trade and host 20,000 companies, according to the CEO of Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC).

Local media reported that Araf Amiri told an industry conference that Dubai’s free zones – which include Jebel Ali Free Zone, Dubai Airport Free Zone, Dubai Media City, Dubai Internet City and the DIFC, among others – have been instrumental in boosting trade and foreign direct investment (FDI) in the emirate.

“[The government] simplified doing business by adopting policies and encouraging free trade and FDI by establishing free zones,” he said.

For example, he added, the DIFC has over 90 bilateral and multi lateral agreements with international partners and regulators across the globe. “We have a network across the globe that makes doing business much better.”

The government has also developed the requisite legal framework, skills training and codes of conduct for doing international business in Dubai, he said.

A DIFC spokesperson told Arabian Business Amiri was citing figures issued in December by the Free Zone Council, the body representing Dubai’s 22 free zones.