Daisuke Matsunaga, the Japanese Consul General (CG) in the UAE visited Jebel Ali Free Zone (Jafza) to explore further opportunities for Japanese companies to expand reach in the Middle East markets from Jafza, the region’s trade and logistics centre. Daisuke Matsunaga was received by Ibrahim Aljanahi, Deputy Chief Executive Officer, Jafza at the free zone. Aljanahi briefed the Consul General on Jebel Ali Free Zone’s growth driven industry practices and unique culture as well as the free zone’s continuing role as an important contributor to the local economy. He also referred to the importance of on-going cooperation between the countries to increase the level of global investments. HE the Consul General and Ibrahim Aljanahi had detailed discussions to strengthen commercial relations between Japan and the free zone. The Consul General was also briefed on Jafza’s world-class infrastructure, facilities and new developments in the free zone such as the expansion project in the South Zone, which began in 2003 to accommodate growing demand including the Convention Centre Complex, under construction and other recent developments. Jafza has become a prominent regional business hub for Japanese businesses looking to base themselves in the Middle East. The free zone is home to over 100 Japanese companies including Sony, Hitachi, Toshiba, JVC, Panasonic, Sanyo, Nissan, Mitsubishi Motors, Fuji Film, Nichibo, Mitsui & Co, Obayashi, and Sumitomo Corporation among others. United Arab Emirates remains Japan’s top export market in the Gulf. The overall trade between Dubai and Japan in 2010 was valued at Dhs17.5 billion, according to Dubai World’s Statistics Department. The total trade between Jafza and Japan in 2010 amounted to Dhs7.28 billion. Jafza is Economic Zones World’s flagship operation. One of the world’s largest and the fastest growing free zones. Established in 1985, Jafza today is spread over an area of 48 sq. kms and is home to over 6400 companies, including over 120 of the Fortune Global 500 enterprises, from across the world. It is a leading driver of the burgeoning UAE economy. With its impeccable track record, Jafza stands for innovation, customer centricity, transparent operations and entrepreneurial dynamism. As the leading business hub of the Middle East, Jafza focuses on long-term customer relationships and foster alliances with global investors by providing them with world class infrastructure supported with value-added services and incentives. They also offer the benefit of huge business opportunities from a potential market of over two billion people in the greater Middle East region. The products include office units, warehouses, light industrial units and land on long term lease. These land sites are suitable for a variety of purpose-built facilities. Other value added products include business centers, hotels for visitors and customised Build-to-Suit options.