News and articles monitoring the activities and developments in the free zones around the world.
Australian Ambassador to UAE visits RAK Free Trade Zone
May 10, 2012
In a step that reinforces Australia's commitment to boost its trade relations with Ras Al Khaimah, the Australian Ambassador to the UAE and Qatar HE Pablo Kang recently visited Ras Al Khaimah Free Trade Zone (RAK FTZ) - one of the fastest-growing and most cost-effective free trade zones in the UAE. Oussama El Omari, CEO of RAK FTZ, received Ambassador Kang at the free zone, and discussed ways and steps to boost trade cooperation between Australia and the emirate. Later, the Ambassador was shown the facilities available at RAK FTZ Business Park. The visit follows a high-level Australian trade mission to RAK FTZ last June, which involved representatives from various Australian trade bodies.
In his comments, El Omari said, "We are extremely privileged to welcome HE Pablo Kang to RAK FTZ. The fact that this visit comes within months of receiving the high-level business delegation from Australia to RAK FTZ is a testimony to our strong commitment to enhance trade relations and cooperation with Australia. During the talks, we discussed a wide array of sectors for closer collaboration between Ras Al Khaimah and Australia, highlighting the world-class facilities and services on offer at our free zone." He added, "Australia is a very important and strategic market for us. The cost effectiveness of setting up business at RAK FTZ, coupled with value-added services, the ease to do business, and the strategic geographical advantage to serve as a hub for the entire Middle East, are the salient advantages we offer at the free zone. We definitely see a vast potential of future cooperation arising out of this visit." During the visit, the talks focused on developing business collaboration across key sectors in Ras Al Khaimah, which included healthcare, tourism, educational programmes, services exchanges and networks, higher education, and scientific research, among others.
The future projects could include joint ventures, specialised medical care cooperations, training facilities, real estate investments, hospitality tie-ups, health tourism developments, leisure centres, women in leadership programmes, sharing of consultancy expertise, bringing world-class universities to Ras Al Khaimah, and research for overcoming chronic diseases such as cancer, diabetes and others. A total of 142 Australian companies currently operate under RAK FTZ, primarily in general trading, commercial activities and consultancy services. According to UAE Ministry of Foreign Trade, currently, the total Australia-UAE trade is worth Dhs8,183bn, which comprises Australian exports to the UAE that is worth Dhs7,473bn, and constitutes 91% of the trade. The core exports include aluminium oxide, meat, barley, vehicles, iron, non-alloy steel, wheat, and malt, among others. The trade relationship has registered a continuous upswing in the last three years, growing from Dhs6,868bn in 2009 and Dhs8,054bn in 2010 to Dhs8,183bn in 2011.