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.
One of our key objectives is to raise awareness of the benefits that free zones can bring in terms of enhancing foreign direct investment and trade; promoting cultural diversity; driving innovation and skills development; creating new jobs and industries, as well as bringing stability to the global economy and prosperity to nations.
As a not-for-profit entity, we are committed to supporting the management and continuous development of free zones and offer a range of support services for our members. These include training and development programs as well as research and analysis on free zones and wider trade and investment trends.
I am pleased that we have already been welcomed so warmly by so many free zone bodies around the world. It has also been heartening to find that we share similar goals and objectives and, most importantly, a common belief in the intrinsic economic power of the free zone model.
More than two per cent of the global labor force currently works in free zones - a figure that continues to grow. Such a significant economic contribution requires a global body to take stock of this important phenomenon and lead its progress and this is what we intend to do. We have a very clear mandate and set of goals that we believe will benefit the world's many free zones and, ultimately, have the potential to transform the communities that we serve.
Dr. Mohammed Alzarooni