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Hind Al Soulia - Riyadh - DUBAI — The Dubai Airport Free Zone Authority (DAFZA) has signed a memorandum of understanding with the Federation of Israeli Chambers of Commerce (FICC), Dubai Media Office said in a statement on Friday.
The agreement aims to create a framework for bilateral cooperation aimed at supporting Israeli companies in establishing their businesses in Dubai and taking advantage of commercial and investment opportunities and incentives.
The MoU was formalized at a virtual ceremony attended by Dr. Mohammed Al Zarooni, the director-general of the DAFZA, and Uriel Lynn, the president of the FICC.
Under the MoU, DAFZA will promote the emirate of Dubai as a global trade center to Israeli companies and introduce them to business and investment opportunities provided by the emirate through events and activities organized in cooperation with the FICC. These activities will include virtual seminars and tours aimed at providing information on Dubai Airport Free Zone’s registration process and other business set-up procedures.
As part of the agreement, the FICC will encourage Israeli companies to participate in these events. It will also promote the Dubai Airport Freezone as an ideal base for Israeli firms to expand their regional business and Dubai as a platform for increasing their reach in key regional markets. The FICC serves as an umbrella organization for over 5,000 Israeli businesses and organizations in over 120 sectors.
DAFZA will provide member companies of the FICC incentives to establish businesses and offer services in Dubai. It will particularly support emerging companies from Israel, which has the second-largest number of startup companies in the world. E-commerce companies that are FICC members will benefit from Dubai Commercity, the region’s first dedicated e-commerce free zone, which will provide access to the emirate’s e-commerce infrastructure with competitive incentives agreed on by both sides.
Under the MoU, the two parties will also exchange information and experiences to achieve common goals and help member companies of their organizations ease their entry into each other’s markets through services and facilities provided by DAFZA and FICC.
Commenting on the agreement, Al Zarooni,the director-general of the DAFZA, said that this agreement reflects DAFZA’s role as an important enabler of economic and business growth in Dubai and the UAE and a key player in raising the GDP contribution of the emirate’s non-oil sectors.
Al Zarooni added: “DAFZA’s strategic location, which makes it a gateway to Asian markets, and its ability to facilitate smoother and faster trade in the region through Dubai, places it in a good position to offer new opportunities for Israeli companies.” This agreement underlines DAFZA’s role in bringing more foreign investments to Dubai and encouraging companies from various sectors to launch and expand their business in the emirate by providing competitive incentives and facilities. Israeli companies can significantly benefit from the support provided by the free zone located next to one of the busiest airports in the world, he said.
Meanwhile, Lynn, the president of the FICC, said: "The signing of the MOU with the Dubai Airport Freezone Authority is an exceptional opportunity that offers an example of what can be achieved in our world if two countries are committed to creating more prosperity for their people. It will be mutually advantageous for Dubai and the Israeli business community, as more businesses will utilize the facilities and services in DAFZA and create a bridgehead for Israeli businesses for enhancing their foreign trade in products and services. The message of peace will take the form of working together for the people of both countries.”
The agreement between both sides will particularly benefit companies in the logistics, technology, electronics, precious stones and metals, agricultural, pharmaceutical, medical equipment, and research and development sectors.
DAFZA has played a key role in boosting Dubai's economic growth, with a 12 percent contribution to the emirate's foreign trade in 2019. Last year, machinery and electrical and electronics equipment accounted for the largest share of foreign trade conducted out of DAFZA with 55 percent of the total. The Free Zone registered 37.4 billion dirhams ($10.2 billion) worth of imports and 53 billion dirhams worth of exports and re-exports. This was followed by precious stones and metals with 38% of the total import value at 29.6 billion dirhams and 32 billion dirhams worth of exports and re-exports. Both sectors represent 92.6 percent of DAFZA's total trade.
In the context of this growth, the agreement between the two sides is expected to promote significant mutual trade in these sectors. Precious stones and metals accounted for a large share of overall Israeli foreign trade in 2019, with exports in this sector reaching $11.9 billion, accounting for 20 percent of its total exports. Exports in electronics, electrical, and technology industries in Israel reached $7.98 billion last year while imports totaled $8.03 billion. — SG
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