Free Trade Zones

Out of 70 economic zones in the Gulf, Kuwait has only 4 – ARAB TIMES

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KUWAIT CITY, October 2: The GCC countries have more than 70 economic zones, with 47 in the United Arab Emirates alone, while Saudi Arabia and the Sultanate of Oman have 10 each, while Kuwait has only 4 economic zones, Bahrain 3 and Qatar 2. However, in light of the ambitious future plans of countries in the region, the numbers are set to increase, especially in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. MEED magazine said in a recent report that there is a remarkable growth of special economic zones around the world, including logistics hubs, free zones and industrial clusters, as there were less than 200 economic zones in the world. world in the 1980s, but today there are more than 7,000 in about 140 countries.

The report points out that the GCC countries are at the forefront of this growth, and for good reason, namely that the geographical advantage enjoyed by the Gulf States in relations between East and West remains as strong as it has been for centuries. At a time when global competition to attract businesses to special economic zones remains fierce, the Middle East region seamlessly connects billions of people through some of the world’s most advanced airports and seaports and economic zones. business-friendly specials. When it comes to SEZs, it should not just be about quantity, as it is essential that SEZs provide cost-effective solutions for the countries that invest in them as well as the companies that use them. This means that in return for SEZs offering financial incentives, personalized costs and benefits, transparent business operations and world-class infrastructure, it is essential that private companies contribute to the national economy, create jobs, inspire innovation, stimulate economic diversification and become empowering. factors of strong economic development.

A world-famous example is the Jebel Ali Free Zone (Jafza). When it launched in 1985, there were only 19 companies in the region. Today, however, Jafza accounts for nearly 24% of foreign direct investment in Dubai, as the free zone includes 9,000 registered companies from over 130 countries, employs over 135,000 people and has generated 454 billion dirhams (123. $6 billion) of trade in 2021. , an annual increase of 19%. Looking to the future, how can the benefits of SEZs be enhanced in the future? Without a doubt, technology and durability must play a major role. The Internet of Things, advanced robotics, 3D printing and big data are reshaping our world and our global value chains and will undoubtedly be at the heart of the transformation of the GCC special economic zones.