Jebel Ali Free Zone (Jafza), the flagship free zone operation of Economic Zones World (EZW), received strong response from leading Chinese multinationals for the Middle East region during its recently held 10-day roadshow in China. Eight large Chinese Groups, having annual turnover in excess of %5bn, have shown their definite interest in setting up their base in the Free Zone to access the region.
The roadshow was led by Talal Al Hashimi, Managing Director, EZW - UAE Region and comprised of Adil Al Zarooni, Senior Vice President, EZW Global Sales, Khalid Ahmed Al Marzooqi, Regional Manager, Asia Pacific and Jeffrey XLYU, China Market Executive, Jafza Global Sales.
Talal Al Hashimi commenting on the Jafza roadshow said: "We saw strong interest in Chinese multinationals from diverse sectors - from oil & gas, construction to electronics - for the Middle East markets and Jafza as a hub to serve the region. The overwhelming interest from Chinese multinationals in the West Asian and African markets underlines the shift in the world’s second largest economy’s strategy to diversify its market base from the US and Europe to developing region’s like the Middle East which is not only resource rich in terms of per capita income but also one of the fastest growing regions in the world."
Jafza conducted roadshow in 5 major cities in China including Beijing, Shanghai, Foshan, Hangzhou and Tianjin. Jafza team visited the head offices of more than 15 leading companies including some Global Fortune 500, who have shown keen interest in the region and in Jafza.
Jafza campaign started with its participation in Bauma China 2012 that was held in Shanghai from 27th to the 30th of November, 2012. Bauma China is Far East Asia’s top International trade fair for construction machinery, building material machines, construction vehicles and equipment.
The trade fair had 2,718 exhibitors from 38 countries across the world. With 1,837 exhibitors China was the largest exhibitor country. After China top 5 exhibitor countries included Germany, Italy, the US, Korea and Japan. During 4-day construction industry show Jafza had meetings with more than 100 leading Chinese companies who showed keen interest in the Middle East and setting up their operation in Jafza to access and serve the region.
Jafza roadshow in China included two Business Seminars one in Foshan and the other in Hangzhou city, the two important industrial and commercial hubs in the area. The Foshan Business Seminar was attended by 70 companies while Hangzhou seminar was attended by 50 prospective investors interested in West Asia and African markets. Both the seminars were attended by HSBC officials and their some important clients interested in the region. Both seminars were organized in collaboration with China Council for Promotion of International Trade (CCPIT).
During roadshow in Beijing Jafza team visited China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) headquarters and met their senior executives including the President of CNPC Middle East. CNPC is the 2nd largest company in the world in terms of market capitalization. CNPC’s 15 subsidiaries are already based in Jafza. Now CNPC plans to set-up the Regional Industrial and Logistics base for their existing and future subsidiaries in the Free Zone. Jafza also met top executives of China Electric Equipment Group, a major Chinese conglomerate, interested in setting up their base in Jafza for the Middle East and Africa region.
Looking at the industry response and overall success of the roadshow we expect some big names to join the Free Zone in near future, said Adil Al Zarooni, Senior Vice President, EZW Global Sales. "We expect over 20% growth in the number of Chinese companies in the Free Zone this year," he further added.
Jafza is currently home to 170 Chinese companies. China continues to hold a top position among Jafza’s global trade partners. The Asian giant’s trade through Jafza is expected to cross Dhs40bn in 2012, an increase of about 10% from its trade of Dhs37bn in 2011.