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World Free Zones Organisation Sets Up Dubai HQ

by Lorys Charalambous,, Cyprus

21 May 2014

A new multinational organization with a mandate to protect the interests of special economic zones worldwide has established its headquarters in Dubai.

The World Free Zones Organisation (WFZO) is an international, independent non-profit organization, which was registered in Geneva, Switzerland, in January this year. It aims to improve public awareness of free zones and standardize practices within the industry.

The organization will be based in the Dubai Airport Free Zone (DAFZA), and will be managed by a board of 14 members from around the world. Mohammad Al Zarooni, the Director General of DAFZA, will chair the WFZO.

Al Zarooni said during the opening ceremony of the headquarters that, "the WFZO will promote a spirit of collaboration, dialogue, and guidance" and "will provide help to nations that can benefit from the free zone model, whose economies require foreign direct investment to build strong, robust, and diverse economies."

He said that all countries with membership in the United Nations will be able to apply to join the WFZO, but the organization will make the ultimate decision on whether to grant membership. Individuals and entities working in free zones will be able to join the organization, but only free zones and free zone associations will enjoy full membership and voting rights.

Explaining its choice to establish the Organization's headquarters in Dubai, Al Zarooni said: "The UAE has been a shining example of the dynamic role free zones play in economic and social development, and its diversity and vibrancy as a business hub has put the country on the world map."

TAGS: tax | investment | business | interest | law | international financial centres (IFC) | offshore | Switzerland | trade | Dubai | free trade zone

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