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Sun 19 Aug 2007 09:20 AM

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Romania seeks Emirates trade links

Eastern European country looking gain a better understanding of Jebel Ali Free Zone business model.

The Romanian government is seeking to enhance trade and investment relations with Dubai and its free zones, one of the country's leading ministers has revealed during a high level delegation to the emirate.

A Romanian delegation led by HE Ovidiu Silaghi, Romanian minister of small and medium enterprises, commerce, tourism and liberal professions visited Jebel Ali Free Zone (Jafza) last week. The objective of the visit was to seek ways to enhance cooperation between Romania and Dubai and have a better understanding of Jafza's business model.

Salma Hareb, CEO of Jafza and economic zones world hosted the meeting with Anil Wats, executive vice president and COO of DP World, and Samir Chaturvedi, vice president business development at Jafza International.

Introducing Jafza to the delegation Hareb explained the important role Jafza has played and continues to play in the overall development of Dubai.

"At Dubai World we have already demonstrated our commitment towards Romania through the key investment and ongoing developments in Constanta Port by our Group Company DP World.

"We are very keen on working with the Romanian government on developing an integrated logistics infrastructure platform to establish Romania as a major hub for the Eastern and central Europe," she added.

Wats said that though the huge growth demonstrated by DP World in Constanta Port was "very satisfying" for the group, he still sees "a lot more potential in the Romanian economy".

"We believe that improved infrastructure and better connectivity to the Eastern and Central European region will increase the throughput of the Romanian ports, and a Jafza-like platform can be a major catalyst for the development of the Romanian industries and logistics sector besides improving the overall trade in East/Central Europe," he added.

Silaghi praised Jafza's rapid growth and its customer-centric approach, which, in his words, has "made Dubai a business hub for the entire Middle East, and Romanian government is keen to enhance trade and investment relations with Dubai".

He agreed that Jafza's proposed network would have a "very positive" impact on the Romanian economy and invited the Jafza team to visit Romania to hold advanced discussions with the Romanian government on the next step forward in mutual cooperation. The next round of meetings will be held in Romania next month.

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