Jebel Ali Free Zone (Jafza), Dubai and the UAE’s flagship trade and logistics hub for the wider Middle East region comprising West Asia, the CIS, Africa and the Indian Subcontinent, recently organised a roadshow in Seattle, USA attended by over 40 businesses.
Over the years, Jafza has been the preferred destination of US companies for their expansion in the region and has developed close business relations with US organisations. The UAE is the United State’s largest trading partner in the Middle East reflecting the strong economic relationships between the two nations.
At the seminar, Jafza introduced Dubai as the industrial and manufacturing hub of the region, highlighting the Emirate’s Industrial Strategy launched by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and the Ruler of Dubai, and the incentives on offer at Jafza to manufacturing companies.
Jafza also signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Trade Development Alliance Greater Seattle to encourage trade relations between the two cities and organisations in the presence of the Abdulla Alsaboosi, Consul General of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in Los Angeles and Saud Al Nowais, Commercial Counselor, Embassy of the UAE in Washington.
The Seminar was supported by the Seattle Metro Chamber of Commerce and Trade Development Alliance Greater Seattle, the US-USE Business Council, The Embassy of USA in Washington DC and the UAE Consulate in Los Angeles.
The Jafza delegation also met John Stokes, Mayor of Bellevue City and discussed ways to enhance and strengthen trade relations between the two developing cities. During the meeting, Ibrahim Al Janahi, Deputy CEO and Chief Commercial Officer at Jafza highlighted the vision of HH Sheikh Mohammed, through the Dubai 2021 plan, to develop as a city of innovation and creativity. Mayor Stokes commended the efforts of Dubai’s leadership in enabling the commercial and economic development of the Emirate in a short timescale. Al Janahi extended an invitation to the Mayor to visit Dubai and Jafza to further understand the pivotal role of the Emirate as the business hub of the region.
Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem, Group Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of DP World and Chairman of Ports, Customs and Free Zone Corporation, said: “Jafza-US trade has grown at the rate of 37% over the past five years. The U.S. ranks in the top five in trade with Jafza and sixth in terms of the number of companies employing more than 10,000 people.”
Over 400 US companies are based in Jafza, including some of the Fortune 500 companies from a range of sectors such as General Motors, HP, Dow Chemicals, Ford, General Electric, Caterpillar, FedEx, Schlumberger, P&G and Johnson & Johnson.
According to figures released by the Statistics Center of the U.S. Department of Commerce, trade between the UAE and the United States during the first half of this year reached $12.84 billion, compared with $11.9 billion over the same period in 2015. U.S. trade with the UAE stood at about 33.5% of the total trade with GCC nations.
Bin Sulayem, added: “Jafza operates in line with the directives of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and the Ruler of Dubai, to develop a business environment that encourages the growth and prosperity of companies in the free zone. Jafza provides modern infrastructure and facilitates free trade and investment opportunities reinforcing Dubai’s position as a global business hub serving more than two billion consumers around the world.
“Jafza aims to attract companies that add value to the local economy and the region while increasing their revenues through the re-export of their products to various regional markets.”
Speaking about the U.S. roadshow, Ibrahim Mohammed Al Janahi, Deputy CEO and Chief Commercial Officer at Jafza said: “Dubai’s state-of-the-art infrastructure and integrated business community caters to trade and logistics in the entire Middle Eastern region. Jafza is a prominent logistical and manufacturing hub attracting multinationals from around the world, including the U.S.”
He added: “The U.S. has been one of our leading partners with some of its most reputed companies based in Jafza. Through this roadshow, we promoted free trade and investment between the two nations.”
Jafza’s delegation to the United States was led by Al Janahi; Faisal Jassim, Sales Manager and Mania Merrikhi, Head of Communications.