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Sun 28 Jan 2007 12:00 AM

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Global free zone business aims to take on the world

Dubai World has launched Economic Zones World (EZW) — an entity that will oversee and develop its global free zones, special economic zones and specific business and industrial zones operations in the future.

Dubai World has launched Economic Zones World (EZW) — an entity that will oversee and develop its global free zones, special economic zones and specific business and industrial zones operations in the future.

The company said that EZW plans to invest US$7.9bn (AED29bn) to set up and manage industrial zones within the UAE and abroad over the next three to five years in strategically important areas and specifically in emerging economies in including Asia, Africa, the Middle East, Eastern Europe and Latin America.

Its current group profile includes the Jebel Ali Free Zone (Jafza), its international arm Jafza International, Techno Park and Dubai Auto Zone.

Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem, chairman of Dubai World, said: “The creation of Economic Zones World is a logical step forward in the evolution of Jafza, which is the Middle East’s premier international business hub.

“The launch reinforces our policy of thinking big and planning ahead in order to take on future challenges.”

Jafza was established in 1985 and is today home to about 6000 companies from 120 countries. Jafza International is its international arm and currently operates free zones in Morocco, Djibouti and Malaysia. It has signed MoUs for developing free zones in Oman, Senegal and South Korea. Jafza International’s new mandate includes the development of business hubs by equity participation in ownership, wherever expedient.

Techno Park has been established to promote high-tech industries to support the country’s economic development. Dubai Auto Zone (DAZ) is an industry specific initiative targeted to attract Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) to the automotive sector. Salma Hareb, CEO of EZW and Jafza, said: “With its number one position and strong platform, Economic Zones World is set to achieve long-term growth and profitability for both its Dubai based freezone and its international operations.”

Dubai World, a Dubai government entity is considered as one of the world's largest holding companies.

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