|Chairman Dr Mohammed Alzarooni during the conference|
The 4th annual International Conference and
exhibition on Free Zones organized by World Free Zone Organization took place
in Dubai, UAE first week of May 2018.
Zones sector around the globe who gathered and brainstormed on issues of common
interest and contributed to the journey towards shared goals and prosperity.
to PROSPERITY” is as unique as it got and drew inspiration from Dubai’s
ambitions initiative to stay much ahead of the curve. The whole idea is that we
should strive at more than the known economic benefits of Free Zones:
exports, especially in smaller and developing countries;
levels of kills and technology transfer;
Direct Investment; etc. etc.
around the theme generated heightened interest among stakeholders.
|Chris Ndibe Executive Secretary, Africa Free Zones Association in the mist of other participants.|
Globally renowned domain-experts shared insights on the
subject and triggered more creative ideas for an accelerated journey towards
The deliberation espoused that a nation’s prosperity means
much more than its economic growth, GDP and wealth; it is also determined by
its wellbeing, which considers an inclusive and sustainable development of its
society, by addressing the needs and expectations of all key stakeholders. In
2017, more countries experienced growth prosperity than falling, with the
significant strengthening of the world’s business environment leading this
climate of improved prosperity.
on the three pillars of best Practices, Innovation and Sustainability, a set of
indicators will be identified to examine growth or economic output, as well as
measure the impact of free zones on less tangible assets such as the creation
of skills and intellectual capital, the environmental impact of doing business,
linkages to local enterprises or the fluidity of transactions.
indicators as a set of variables. The World Free Zone Organization will score
each variable to come up with a measure for each of the total nine indicators
under the pillars. A final score will then be compiled to determine the
positioning of free zones. With a view to integrate the metrics of the three
pillars with its nine indicators, and evaluate global Free Zones.
building a set of performance indicators that will measure a free zone’s
position along a prosperity curve. The aim is to define the impact of a Free
Zone on its local economy beyond GDP growth. The prosperity curve will define
the free zone’s contribution to the country’s financial, intellectual and
environmental wealth – e.g. through industry linkages and spill overs or
neglecting its potential to build prosperity; is actively building on its
capacity for prosperity contribution; or is constructively contributing to its
host country’s prosperity.
Zones by designing tools and policies to support inclusive growth.
will encourage the use of disruptive technologies across Free Zones, the World
Free Zone Organization showcased methodologies, hardware and software solutions
that offer new ways to conduct business for companies and Free Zones alike.
Topics covered at the conference include:
& Tech-ready zones including Digital reporting
tracking on global scale
& Secure zones including customs processes and administration
zones including environmental impact
zones and filing solutions
The conference offered participant first-hand experience
with the diverse options at their disposal to catapult their businesses 10 years
ahead of their competition, in line with the free zone of the future concept.
– involves establishing links between Free Zones to unlock their potential
for greater cooperation and synergies. It will also provide platform for
dialogue and exchange of best practices, and for creating better and stronger
linkages between Free Zones.
Free Zone Organization mapped the links between member free zones in order to
construct an accurate and effective view of the connections available to
companies that operate in multiple countries. The connections tracked
and/or partnered logistics characteristics for physical goods
fiscal, customs and/or tariff terms for shipped goods
financial regulations for transactions and capital flows
industry regulations across territories
present its company members with clear networks of opportunities across
multiple free zones. It will also encourage and support links and partnerships
between its member free zones in different territories through a platform for
dialogue and the exchange of best practices.
|Some Africans that attended the Conference|
The conference actually fortified the objective of an
association like Africa Free Zones Association and WFZO, which is to bring
together Free Zones to build a comprehensive knowledge database; to provide a
platform to learn, share and grow; and to share best practices in order to
improve the management and administration of Free Zones.