Thursday 02, November 2017 by Jessica Combes

Ajman Free Zone to increase European investments


Ajman Free Zone (AFZ) today said that as part of its enhanced global investment outreach strategy, it is looking at attracting more investments from Europe and an official team from the entity is planning to hold roadshows in key EU countries.

In a statement, AFZ said that the move towards attracting increased European investments is part of the free zone’s intent to diversify its investor base as well as to cater to rising inquiries from EU companies looking at setting up a base in the UAE

“We have already done a roadshow in Italy as part of our endeavour to source FDI, and we will be looking at more destinations in Europe for such activities,” said Mahmood Al Hashemi, Director General, Ajman Free Zone.

He said AFZ is exploring setting up a base in Italy as well following investor demand. The free zone has a growing number of Italian companies comprising seven to eight per cent of the total investments.

“We believe the European potential is still under explored considering that there is a steadily increasing interest from investors from EU and nearby countries as the UAE offers a sound base for their market expansion. Moreover, the UAE is also a redistribution hub for a large and diverse market in the region across the Indian Subcontinent and Middle East and North Africa (MENA),” said Al Hashemi.

In May this year AFZ had opened an office in Cyprus as part of its plans to expand its reach to the European market. The free zone had also announced that it has identified five key global markets where it will set up hub offices this year including in Azerbaijan, China, Switzerland, Canada and Hong Kong.

“Year-on-year, overseas investments into AFZ have been growing at CAGR of 20 to 25 per cent. While Asian investments form a large chunk of the free zone investments, there is a clear increase in the number of investments from EU as well as companies from this part of the world moves to tap growth markets,” said Faisal Al Nuaimi, AFZ Deputy Director General.

He said the global investment outreach strategy of AFZ has been enhanced to spread information on the free zone advantages to newer markets.  “We have pioneered flexible investment concepts like instalment options for investors up to 12 months along with the scalable smart office and warehouse concepts. These offers by the free zone have been a major reason behind the increasing investments,” he added.

“Many of these companies want to have a marketing base in the UAE which would not mean large investments or a manufacturing base. AFZ has been catering to this specific demand for years with a cost-effective business model through its scalable smart and executive business propositions,” said Rishi Somaiya, Sales Director, AFZ.