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Tue 26 May 2009 04:00 AM

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Market forces

DMCC associate director James Bernard talks to Petrochemicals Middle East about DMCC's achievements, challenges and ambitions.

Market forces
James Bernard, Associate director of Commodities at DMCC.

DMCC associate director James Bernard talks to Petrochemicals Middle East about DMCC's achievements, challenges and ambitions.

Why should companies choose Dubai Multi Commodities Centre (DMCC)?

DMCC free zone at Jumeirah Lake Towers was set up specifically to house and cater for companies involved with energy, petrochemicals and plastics as well as other commodities such as metals, gold, diamonds, tea and cotton.

We provide infrastructure and offer a 50 year zero tax guarantee by the government. We are in a great location in central Dubai, not far from the port at Jebel Ali, and the free zone offers a great place to work and live. DMCC is a Dubai World company with DP World as a sister company. We offer a quick and easy set up along with great regulation to guarantee the DMCC brand is one that companies want to be associated with.

We are very well regulated, and it is not a one day event to register a company with DMCC.

What are your goals?

What we are trying to provide is a UAE hub for petrochemicals and other commodity trading in a location that clusters specific industries and offers these companies an environment where they can set up offices next to companies from similar industries. We have over 1500 companies already established as DMCC members. We also allow for companies outside of the commodities industry as part of the JLT free zone.

Our main achievement so far is being successful in attracting world leading companies to set up in our free zone such as Reliance Industries, Petronas, PTT Polymer marketing, Titan International Corp DMCC and SCG Plastics Company DMCC and many others.

How about the big UAE and Saudi players?

These companies have been in the region for a long time, Borouge is just down the road in Abu Dhabi and I am not sure of their plans to set up in Dubai, but they would be very welcome at DMCC. Dubai offers many business incentives for companies, the majority of regional companies have already got offices here, but now many are looking at setting up offices in free zone area.

What are the criteria to register in DMCC?

In DMCC the company should be involved with commodities and that brief is quite wide. Each company provides a business plan to show that they are involved in commodities and fit the DMCC free zone regulations. We are very well regulated and it is not a one day event to list a company here; not like some other free zones. In most cases it will take one to two weeks. We have all the right checks to ensure all companies fit the requirements and this gives a guarantee to each and every company that they are part of a very well respected and professional free zone.

What are your primary challenges for 2009?

The main challenge now is to continue to develop the free zone and to keep attracting quality companies to Dubai. DMCC is also involved with several projects within the energy and petrochemical sectors, and these projects are still ongoing, if a little delayed due to the global situation. DMCC looks to develop and provide physical and financial infrastructure to the industry. We can offer some very useful financial products available for the collateralisation of warehoused products.

What are the main polymers on DGCX?

DMCC doesn't list anything, it is Dubai Gold and Commodities Exchange (DGCX) which does. At the moment there is no launch date but the products that have been developed are Linear Low Density Polyethylene (LLDPE) and Polypropylene (PP), future contracts for ME and SEA, with two regional contracts for each product.

Is there a dialogue between Abu Dhabi Polymers Park and the DMCC?

We have met with ADPP officials on several occasions to discuss our plastic futures contracts. We don't have any agreement with them yet, but we are still looking for discussion.

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