'Free zones have key role to play in post-pandemic recovery'
Ajman Free Zone official says growth in the pandemic period shows the confidence of business community in the UAE's competitiveness
Entrepreneurs that are eager to start their own businesses and companies that want to expand their businesses beyond a specific territory and region, will have all the support they need in one of the UAE’s free zones, said Sheikha Abdulla AlNuaimi, commercial operations executive director at Ajman Free Zone.
Speaking at the Global Investment Forum 2021, she highlighted the key role that free zones have in economic recovery. “The Ajman Free Zone is committed to the UAE agenda and strategies, alongside its global commitments. We focus on trading companies which play roles in the UAE, as well as other countries around the world.”
She revealed that the Ajman Free Zone (AFZ) witnessed a significant surge in the number of newly registered companies in 2020, with a total of 1,717 new companies. This is an increase of 23 per cent compared to 2019. Offshore companies comprised 11 per cent of the total number of new companies, reflecting the high level of confidence of the international business and investment community, as well as the economic competitiveness of the emirate.
The education sector came on top as the most active sector in terms of investment, with a growth of 26 per cent. Ajman Free Zone also strengthened its leading position as a driver of economic growth and diversification, boosting Ajman's total exports by 29 per cent, while acquiring a 35 per cent share of the volume of re-exports in 2020.
“This growth varies from local companies that expanded their business in the Northern Emirates to foreign companies that have expanded in the UAE to test the market,” AlNuaimi said. “Thanks to the policies put in place by the wise leadership of the country, the lockdown did not affect us that much. In Q1 of this year, we recorded a growth of 33 per cent in registered companies over the same period last year. Despite many territories still in lockdown around the world and many people hesitant to start their businesses in such a period, these numbers show us a completely different picture. We expect this momentum to carry over for the remainder of the year,” she added.
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