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Dedicated to our members' growth and prosperity, the World Free Zones Organization (World FZO) is the strongest, most active free-zone organization in the world. We can help you achieve your strategic objectives, make connections that matter, and put the industry’s most powerful insights, resources and tools at your fingertips.

Welcome to World Free Zones Organization

Dr. Mohammed Alzarooni, Chairperson, Board of Directors

Welcome to the website of the World Free Zones Organization (World FZO). The World FZO has been established to bring together free zones from around the world to enable them to achieve shared objectives and address common issues.​ ​

Free zones have been instrumental in developing the economies of many countries around the world. However, to date, there has never been a global organization to represent their interests to the international community and act as platform for the exchange of ideas and best operational practices. The World FZO is that organization.​​

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Message from our CEO

Dr. Samir Hamrouni

We have come a long way since the launch of the World Free Zones Organization (World FZO) towards realizing our vision of creating an association to represent the interests of the global free zones community. Today we have members from all corners of the globe, and we are actively working with them to ensure the free zone model receives the recognition it deserves from the international community.

We believe that the potential for the free zone model to transform local and regional economies is enormous, as we have already seen in recent history. The first free zone was established at Shannon Airport, Ireland in 1959 and today there are an estimated 3,500 free zones and special economic zones around the world. Over time, the free zone model has increased trade and investment flows between countries and created millions of jobs in the proces​s.​​​​

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Background

The World Free Zones Organization (World FZO) was launched in Dubai, UAE, in May 2014, by its 14 founding members and under the auspices of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE, and Ruler of Dubai.

Registered in Geneva and headquartered in Dubai, the World FZO is the only truly international, multi-lateral organization for free zones in the world today.

A new global organization

The free zone concept, in its many forms, has gained popularity over the past few decades, particularly in the emerging economies of Asia, the Middle East and Africa. From the first free zone at Shannon Airport in 1959, the model has proliferated to the point where there are an estimated 3,500 free zones around the world, which support approximately 70 million jobs.

In addition, to ensure they receive the international recognition and support they deserve, the role of these zones as exemplars of modern infrastructure, as creators of employment opportunities, and as integrators of services, logistics and transport networks, should be highlighted.

Free zones have played a critical role in the economies of many countries and to ensure they have the greatest possible impact, they need a global, unifying association to bring them together. One that can represent their interests, share their achievements and support their continuous positive development. It is to address this need that the World FZO has been created.​​​​​​​

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Objectives

The board of directors and executive management of the World Free Zones Organization (World FZO) has established a number of key objectives.

These objectives form the mandate for t​he association and underpin all the World FZO’s activities:

  1. Bring together free zones; regional, national, subnational and local free zone associations; consultants and advisors to free zones; free zone users; interested governmental organizations; and international trade related organizations, for knowledge exchange, education and training, networking and business development
  2. Provide a forum for free zones around the world to learn, grow and prosper through unrivalled access to exclusive in-depth research and insights
  3. Create ‘best in class’ standards for free zones that enhance the economic ecosystem both globally and in local markets, as well as guidelines for the establishment and administration of free zones
  4. Gather, create, expand and disseminate the knowledge of, and about, free zones internationally
  5. Improve the perception of free zones globally and position them as areas that make valuable contributions to the local economy and promote sustainable business
  6. Provide specialized operational, administrative, educational and networking services to Members, Partners and Observers through trainings as well as physical and electronic resources
  7. Support and advise new free zones internationally as they develop
  8. Become the global through leader on free zones and issues relating to them

Board of Directors

  • Dr. Mohammed Alzarooni

    Chairperson

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  • Martín Gustavo Ibarra Pardo

    Vice Chairperson

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  • PC Nambiar

    Secretary

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  • Rose Hynes

    Treasurer

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  • Blanca Sorigue Borrell

    Board Director

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  • Julie Brown

    Board Director

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  • Kenneth Carlstedt

    Board Director

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  • Isidoro Hodara

    Board Director

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  • Nasser Al Madani

    Board Director

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  • Dr. Juan Pablo Rivera Cabal

    Board Director

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  • Mehdi Tazi-Riffi

    Board Director

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  • Li Zhaojie

    Board Director

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Founding Members

  • Dr. Mohammed Alzarooni

    Director General of Dubai Airport Freezone (DAFZA)

  • Martin Ibarra

    Honorary President and founder of the Free Zones Association of the Americas (AZFA)

  • PC Nambiar

    Director of SEZ Biotech Services PVT Ltd, Pune, India

  • Rose Hynes

    Chairman of Shannon Group plc

  • Julie Brown

    President & CEO of Georgia Foreign-Trade Zone

  • Kenneth Carlstedt

    Global Trade Compliance Manager for Momentive

  • Isidoro Hodara

    Isidoro Hodara, Director Zonamerica, Vicepresident Uruguay

  • Chris Ndibe

    CEO of Carclon Group

  • Jose Luis Rodriguez

    Director Comercial y Director de la Zona Franca Aduanera del Consorcio La Zona Franca De Barcelona

  • Mehdi Tazi

    Board member at TMSA, Tanger Med Special Agency and Managing Director of Tanger Free Zone

  • Francois Bost

    Professor of Economic Geography at the University of Reims Champagne-Ardenne (URCA) in France. He’s a member of the laboratory HABITER (EA 2076).

  • The late Luis Pellerano

    Former Executive President of Las Americas Industrial Free Zone

  • Nasser Al Madani

    Assistant Director General at Dubai Airport Freezone (DAFZA)


Articles of Association​

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