The contributions of Free Zones to development go beyond trade and investment flows – such as knowledge transfer and innovation, skills and capacity building, and the introduction of new, sustainable standards and regulations, which has attracted increasing attention of Policymakers and development practitioners. In other words, FZs have the potential to add not only to economic growth, but also to the "prosperity" of a country.
The World Free Zones Organisation (World FZO) has embarked on a pioneering initiative to design and develop a "Prosperity Index" (Izdihar Index – Izdihar means Prosperity in Arabic) which would enable an economy to measure, monitor and improve overall contributions of free zones to prosperity levels in the country, over and above economic growth.
In this context World FZO organized a half-day workshop on 21 February 2018 with over a dozen domain experts with a view to seek their expert opinion and feedback on the Izdihar Index. All the domain experts enthusiastically participated and made valuable contribution to the unique index which is getting developed. Based on the comments/feedback of domain experts, the index is being further fine-tuned prior to the launch of the same in ensuing Annual International Conference and Exhibition of World FZO to be held between 30 April and 1 May in Hotel Grand Hyatt, Dubai.