UAE, October 15, 2017 - The Dubai Airport Freezone Authority (DAFZA) has revealed the signing of a strategic Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia's (KSA) Economic Cities Authority (ECA) that is aimed towards developing proposals and suggestions that can help drive in more potential foreign investments to the Gulf region. The MoU was signed by H.E Dr. Mohammed Al Zarooni, Director General of DAFZA, and Muhanud Hilal, Secretary-General, ECA, in a formal signing ceremony held at King Abdullah Economic City.
According to DAFZA, the MoU is aimed towards creating and reinforcing key understanding between DAFZA and ECA - facilitating a smooth exchange of expertise and experience while also collaborating on joint high value projects and investment opportunities.
H.H. Sheikh Ahmed Bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman, DAFZA, expressed full trust and confidence in this signed agreement. He emphasized on the importance of the strong ties between the UAE and the KSA, which is made even stronger because of their common economic visions and rich historical and geographical similarities. He also praised the strong support given by the countries’ leaders, H.H. Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of UAE and H.H. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of UAE, and Ruler of Dubai, and Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud. His Highness pointed out that through close coordination, consultation and cooperation in various fields and at all levels, DAFZA is working on consolidating relations and maintaining full economic harmony in the interests of the region and economic development.
The DAFZA Chairman noted the agreement would focus on significant value-adding initiatives to support FDI flows in the region from UAE and KSA, which goes in line with UAE Vision 2021 and Dubai Plan 2021 to lead the global competitiveness indicators and raise the attracvtivess of the national economy to the investors.
H.H. Sheikh Ahmed further noted that integrative and economic harmonization between the two countries could result in strengthened joint efforts to achieve the economic potentials of the region and support the KSA's vision 2030 of promoting the competitiveness of its economy.
H.E. Dr. Mohammed Al Zarooni, said, 'Economic collaboration is a key factor to success, taking note that the strength of UAE-Saudi relations is a key priority of the leaders of the two countries. Our mission is to achieve the real potential of Dubai freezones and the important role they play in driving more economic development, both locally and regionally. We are satisfied with the joint workshops between DAFZA and the ECA which took place in KSA, as we share a common economic vision that aims to take the region to a new leap based on high-level cooperation to attact and support the FDI flows in the region in DAFZA and ECA.'
Dr. Al Zarooni added, 'Our cooperation with Economic Cities Authority is part of DAFZA's strategic efforts to create a stimulating environment and an attractive destination for FDI, well supported by its successful experience over the last two decades in freezones industry. Through its expertise and practices, DAFZA will provide the necessary expertise and practices, in cooperation with the Economic Cities Authority to achieve and develop these objectives, leveraging the strong ties between the UAE and KSA. The two economies have significant capabilities as they are both recognized as two powerful economies in the GCC-equipped with clear visionary insights, the UAE Vision 2021, Dubai Plan 2021 and KSA Vision 2030.'
Meanwhile, Hilal welcomed the visit of the DAFZA delegation, which follows an earlier invitation that ECA extended to visit and tour King Abdullah Economic City.
The ECA Secretary General stated, “This MoU serves to strengthen our relationship with the UAE and is aimed at consolidating our ties with DAFZA, in particular, across all possible fields to contribute to the achievement of our mutual objectives. This visit is an opportunity to exchange views on the working mechanisms and challenges and strengthen the level of coordination between ECA and DAFZA.”
Under the terms of the MoU, the agreement calls for the exchange of knowledge and best practices through workshops, meetings and programs focusing on company registration laws, the provision of ‘one-stop-shop’ government services, municipal services, planning, investment development, the attraction of foreign investors, and collaboration on the development of mutually beneficial propositions as well as investment opportunities for existing and potential investors at ECA and DAFZA.
The MoU also seeks to create clear and smooth facilitation of the transactions of investors within their geographical scope who wish to expand their business. The agreement complements the successful outcomes of the visit of an ECA delegation to DAFZA in last June. The ECA chose DAFZA as a role model in the fields of investment, economic development, and smart services benefitting the building of a strong economy, due to its leading role in the economic development process and as a major driving force for business growth in the UAE and the region.
The signing ceremony was followed with a workshop held in cooperation with 'Emaar, The Economic City,' the developer of King Abdullah Economic City. The session threw the spotlight on exploring key opportunities for cooperation and the further development of King Abdullah Economic City and other economic cities in the KSA. As a result of the workshop, participants were able to successfully come up with strategic initiatives geared towards the near future in support of the MoU and its economic goals. The DAFZA delegation concluded its visit with a city tour covering King Abdullah Port, two industrial and residential areas, a central business district, and an academic district.