An International Monetary Fund (IMF) mission led by Harald Finger, visited Jafza recently to understand the role of Jabel Ali Free Zone (Jafza) in Dubai and the UAE’s economic development. The three-member mission comprising Zsofia Arvai and Jiri Jonas, two senior economists, met Ibrahim Aljanahi, Deputy Chief Economic Officer of Jafza, and his team including Asim Al Abbasi, Chief Financial Officer and Khaled Ahmad, Senior Vice President (SVP), Strategy and Development from Economic Zones World, the parent company of Jafza, at the freezone. The mission discussed with Jafza authorities the trade trends particularly the effect of the US sanctions on some countries in the Middle East. Commenting on the points raised by the IMF mission Aljanahi said: “Jafza is essentially a facilitator. As facilitator it provides investors required facilities, services and full administrative support to enable them to grow and realise all their aspirations. Therefore, Jafza as such, has largely been unaffected by such sanctions. We have seen consistent growth in the number of new companies that joined Jafza in 2011.” “Last year more than 400 new companies joined the freezone, which includes some of the globally known names like Ace Hardware, AO Smith, Caterpillar, Ford, Oracle, Apollo Tyres, Baumer among others,” he further added. Commenting on the Jafza’s role in the development of Dubai and the UAE’s economy Aljanahi said: “Jafza has been one of the main drivers of Dubai and the UAE’s incredible growth over the years.” We have contributed to Dubai’s GDP at over 20 per cent on year-to-year basis, accounted for more than 50 per cent of Dubai’s exports and 43 per cent of all FDI inflow into the UAE. “Our key strength remains integrated infrastructure, which includes an ideal set of logistics matrices, the best international practices and exceptional customer service.” The Washington based IMF mission’s call to Jafza was part of its visit to the United Arab Emirates that began on Feb.28, 2012, in order to examine aspects of economic and financial developments in the country. The mission is scheduled to conclude on 14th of March and the final report is expected in May 2012. Jafza is Economic Zones World’s flagship operation. One of the world’s largest and the fastest growing freezones. 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 focus 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.