Jebel Ali Free Zone (Jafza), the flagship entity of Economic Zones World (EZW), has seen an impressive turnaround in its trade with Turkey in 2011. The total Jafza-Turkey trade in 2011 grew to Dhs2.14 billion, an increase of 15 per cent over its trade of Dhs1.85 billion in 2010. The trade was generated by 66 Turkish companies based in Jafza in the year. The Free Zone is currently home to 72 Turkish companies. These trade figures were revealed by Jafza officials during a road show the Free Zone recently conducted in Turkey to strengthen Turkey-Jafza trade ties by attracting more Turkish companies into the zone. Talal Al Hashimi, Managing Director, EZW-UAE Region, commenting on the robust increase in bilateral trade between the two sides and the possibilities for further growth said: “Since Jafza-Turkey trade is largely meant for re-exports to rapidly growing markets in the region, the upswing demonstrates a growing demand and the huge possibilities for Turkish products in the Middle East. Turkey’s industry and service driven economy can substantially grow by choosing Jafza as its regional base, boosting Turkey’s exports to the Middle East in addition to Europe, which is Turkey’s existing major export market.” Al Hashimi was speaking at the Jafza Business Seminar during the Free Zone’s road show in Istanbul, a city which is considered the trade and industrial capital of Turkey. Istanbul accounts for 38 per cent of Turkey’s total industrial production and 55 per cent of the country’s total wholesale trade. “At present, Jafza-Turkey bilateral trade is less than 1.5 per cnet of Turkey’s overall trade of Dhs115 billion with the Arab World in 2011, which in itself is very meager, less than 9 per cent of Turkey’s total trade of Dhs1.3 trillion. This demonstrates there are huge opportunities to enhance mutually beneficial trade and business ties between the two sides,” Al Hashimi added. Adil Al Zarooni, Senior Vice President, Global Sales speaking at the seminar said: “We are overwhelmed by the enthusiastic support and interest shown by Turkish companies in Jafza facilities and Jafza’s strategic strength as the gateway and business hub for the entire Middle East region. Jafza offers an unmatched trade and logistics platform to Turkish companies in order to enable them to reach and serve the rapidly growing Middle East markets at rapid pace.” The Jafza Business Seminar and Roadshow in Istanbul and Ankara aimed to create greater awareness about Jafza as a thriving business hub for the region and an ideal investment destination among Turkish businesses, both Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) and Multinational Companies (MNCs).