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.