Talal Al Hashimi, Ibrahim Mohamed Al Janahi and partners during Jafza's event in Dubai. Supplied photo
Dubai: Jebel Ali Free Zone, or Jafza, the flagship free zone entity of Dubai, has seen double-digit growth in its electronics and IT sector, with its over 1,200 companies estimated to have generated trade worth over $38 billion in 2014.
In terms of volume of trade, electronics and IT is one of the largest sectors in the free zone.
These numbers were bared by Jafza officials at the recently-held strategic customer forum for Jafza’s companies in the electronics and IT sector.
Talal Al Hashimi, chief operations officer of Economic Zones World, the parent company of Jafza, said: “According to expert insights the global electronics market is forecasted to be worth over $2.9 trillion by 2020. The wider Middle East region that Jafza as a hub serves will be one of the important markets for electronics and IT industry in the coming years. The sector’s growth in the region is mainly driven by increasing disposable income, expanding population, growing tourist inflow, rapidly-growing Internet penetration and strong distribution capability of key players like Jafza.
“Expo 2020 Dubai will further amplify the number of tourists that will visit Dubai, other emirates in the UAE and countries in the region, which in turn will provide further boost to consumer electronics and IT industry. The introduction of the Dubai Smart City initiative by His highness Shaikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, has already provided major boost to the Internet-enabled devices market in the UAE. We must capitalise on the emerging opportunities,” he added.
Omar bin Hendi, vice-president for customer relations and development, in his welcome note highlighted the importance of the sector in Jafza and the objective of the customer forums, which are designed as an open platform to share ideas to facilitate further growth in the respective sectors, at the same time, address customer concerns to make their operations more efficient and seamless in the free zone.
This year’s Electronics and IT Forum included a panel discussion on e-commerce, which is forecasted to play an important role in the growth of electronics and IT sector in the coming years.
The panelists included Rajeskaran Gnanamoorthy, regional director for electronics at Souq.com; Shailen Shukla, head of logistics at Jumbo; and Hassan Mikail, chief e-commerce officer of Aramex. The panel discussion centred on the importance, opportunities and challenges the e-commerce sector in the UAE and the region faces and was moderated by Hamad Al Sayegh, senior manager of customer relations and development.
Senior Jafza officials including Ibrahim Mohamed Al Janahi, deputy chief executive officer and chief commercial officer, and partners including Dubai Customs, DP World, Trakhees, Dubai Trade, Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry and Port and Free Zone Security addressed customer issues and queries.
The panel discussion was preceded by an audience poll on a range of questions. The result of the polling showed that retail and tourism are the two sectors that attract maximum number of transactions in the UAE and 67 per cent of the companies are using e-channels for their transactions.
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