Nestle inaugurates regional headquarters in Jabal Ali
The world’s biggest food company, Nestle, inaugurated its new Middle East headquarters in the Jebel Ali Free Trade Zone (JAFZ) last week. Construction costs totaled eight million dollars, reported Al-Bayan . Nestle’s new center will employ 1,169 workers, of more than 40 different nationalities. It will support the company’s operations in 11 neighboring states. Swiss-based Nestle SA also operates a large distribution center at Jabal Ali.
More than 450 businesspersons and official figures attended the opening ceremony, including Dubai Crown Prince Shaikh Muhammad Bin Rashid Al-Maktum who said that this move manifests the confidence of the international business community in the economy and investment climate of the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
In late August Nestle pulled out ice cream brand Kimo from Gulf markets, following a price war initiated by leading local brands to counter the overseas brands. The company production at a plant in Dubai since April, although the plant may still be operating as leased capacity to third-party ice cream brands, reported Gulf News . There are also indications that it may be put up for sale.
A senior source at Nestle told the paper that: "There were pertinent reasons why we decided to pull out of the ice cream market in the region. But as a company with a range of products in its portfolio, we will continue to remain very active in the region as we have in the past."
Over 2000 companies from some 97 countries have established their business base in the Jabal Ali Free Zone. Some 28 percent of the companies come from the Asia Pacific region, 35 percent from the GCC and Middle East, 27 percent from Europe and the remaining from the American continent and others.
International companies with JAFZ presence include Acer, Black & Decker, Compaq, Daewoo, GAP, Honda, Johnson & Johnson, Nissan, Nivea, Philips, Samsung, Sony, Bridgestone, Bayer, Hewlett-Packard, Xerox, Nokia, DaimlerChrysler and Toshiba. — (Mena Report)
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