DAFZ discusses competitiveness and investment opportunities with Japanese business community

A high-profile delegation from the Dubai Airport Freezone Authority (dafz) has discussed promising investment opportunities abounding in Dubai with the Japanese business community during a series of seminars held recently in Japan. Japanese decision-makers, investors and entrepreneurs in attendance applauded the pivotal role played by dafz as a leading platform and ideal gateway for Japanese companies to explore the emerging markets in MENA and South Asia. These international seminars are a part of an ambitious marketing plan aimed at informing global investors about the major investment advantages available within one of the most advanced free zones in the world. They also promote the Emirate of Dubai as one of the most important business hubs in the world in line with Dubai Plan 2021.

The seminars are of significance as they complement growing trade between the UAE and Japan which amounted to AED 43.3 billion in the first half of 2016, making the UAE Japan’s largest trading partner and main market among GCC countries. They were organized in cooperation with the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO), Japan Cooperation Center for the Middle Easy (JCCME), the Tokyo Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the Osaka Chamber of Commerce and Industry and Mizuho Bank, and with the support of the UAE Embassy in Japan.

Jamal Bin Marghoob, Director of Marketing and Corporate Communications, headed the dafz delegation and initiated the agenda by launching the first seminar in Tokyo in the presence of H.E. Khaled Omran Al Amiri, UAE Ambassador to Japan, who delivered the opening speech. The second and third seminars were held in Osaka and Fukuoka in the presence of several decision-makers, government dignitaries, investors, entrepreneurs and representatives of major Japanese companies. dafz was commended for its efforts to provide exceptional facilities for benefitting from the most promising investment opportunities in the UAE and the regional emerging markets. The seminars included interactive sessions discussing the solid foundations for Dubai’s leadership as an international business and investment hub as well as the competitive elements making dafz the most developed free zone in the Middle East.

The three forums discussed several topics. The first touched on ‘A Gateway to the Business and Investment Opportunities in dafz,’ while Daisuke Yonekura, Deputy Director, Overseas Investment Div. –  JETRO, talked about ‘Business chance in Middle East and Dubai’s Pivotal Role.’ ‘The New Business Model in MENA countries… Strategic hub of Dubai’ was the focus of the speech of Yusuke Inoue, Advisor for Mizuho Bank’s Global Strategic Advisory Department.

Bin Marghoob said: “Organizing these highly informative seminars complements the success of our previous initiatives during which we built strong relationships with the Japanese business community in order to enable Japanese companies to achieve growth, expand further, and establish a strong presence within the promising markets of the UAE and the surrounding region. We are pleased to have met with elite government figures and leaders of Japan’s business world to discuss the most prominent developments advancing our cooperation as well as find ways to forge new and fruitful strategic partnerships with the public and private sectors, especially in terms of capitalizing on existing and emerging trade and investment opportunities between Japan and the UAE and the MENA region in general.”

He added: “These seminars also provide a perfect opportunity for us to intensify our contributions to the national economy by attracting further foreign investments to the Freezone which enjoys several competitive advantages and has huge investment facilities, advanced infrastructure, world-class services and qualified human resources capable of meeting the needs of international and multinational Japanese companies. We confidently look forward to future prospects, especially as we have managed to seal a series of joint agreements that will pave the way for expanding the presence of Japanese companies in dafz. This will advance our goal of supporting strong economic relations with Japan which is a main trading partner for Dubai and the UAE.”

The number of Japanese companies in dafz grew by 19 per cent at the end of the third quarter of 2016 over the same period in 2015. Companies involved in automobiles and vehicles accounted for the largest percentage at 21 per cent, followed by electronics, electrical and telecommunications at 17 per cent; engines and machines at 14 per cent; engineering and building materials at 10 per cent; plastics, chemicals and petrochemical products at 8 per cent; and pharmaceutical, nutritional and medical equipment at 6 per cent. Some of the world’s leading Japanese names have a presence at dafz, including Panasonic Avionics Corporation, Toyota Tsusho Corporation, Takeda, Yamaha, Toyota, Toyo Engineering, Ricoh, Denka, NEC, Kawasaki, and Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems.