Ibrahim Mohamed Al Janahi, Deputy CEO, Jafza
As part of a high-level delegation led by the UAE Ministry of Foreign Trade, Jafza showcased its multiple, value-added business-friendly suite of offerings for the first time at the recently concluded Africa’s Big 7 Exhibition in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Showing keen interest in setting up their regional operations at the free zone, a large number of F&B traders and manufacturers visited Jafza stand at the biggest food, retail and fast moving consumer goods (FMCG) exhibition in the continent. Exhibitors included wholesalers, suppliers & manufacturers of products, technologies & equipment to the retail industry. Over 400 companies and 9,000 professionals participated in the event. 30% of participating companies were food manufacturers and 22% were exporters and distributors in the exhibition.
Ibrahim Mohamed Al Janahi, Deputy CEO, Jafza and CCO, EZW-UAE Region said: “Africa is among the world’s most rapidly growing economic regions and presents enormous potential for increased trade and investment. While Africa is gaining increased access to international capital, its home grown companies are experiencing commercial vibrancy and looking to expand their horizons in other developing markets. Jafza’s visit to Johannesburg highlighted opportunities and prospects in South Africa. Jafza will continue to target new companies in emerging markets in the continent and is committed to achieving the economic objectives of Dubai by offering world-class services and providing an ideal work environment that attracts foreign investments.”
Khadija Al Bastaki, Senior Regional Manager, Americas and Africa, EZW-Global Sales, representing Jafza at Africa’s Big 7, highlighted the Free Zone’s attractive value proposition, especially to its customer-centric services, world-class infrastructure facilities and unrivalled logistics matrices.
She said: “Our Africa Big 7 participation was a success. We evoked keen interest among African business leaders in Dubai and Jafza’s unmatched infrastructure, facilities and value-added free zone advantages. The visit gave us an opportunity to generate strong leads and strengthen ties with various trade organizations representing South African businesses. Jafza looks forward to seeing more African companies joining the Free Zone in Dubai in the future and we will be working closely with the embassies and other trade departments to boost bilateral ties.”
Currently Jafza is home to 245 companies from Africa, which includes names like Akzo Nobel Powder Coatings, Glenmark Pharmaceuticals, Kampac Oil, Kenana Sugar among others.
Jafza held meetings with senior government and corporate officials from DTCM’s South Africa office, the Department of Trade & Industry of South Africa, the Johannesburg Chamber of Commerce, the Department of Economic Development and Tourism of South Africa, the Embassy of Brazil (Trade section) and the UAE Embassy in South Africa.
Jafza also held a meeting with the Western Cape Investment and Trade Promotion Agency (WESGRO) to discuss the possibility of setting up a South African business incubator in Jafza.
Africa’s extensive oil and mineral resources, packaging industry and related technology, as well as finished products provide huge business opportunities. South Africa’s main exports to the Middle East include minerals, oils, distillation products, pearls, precious stones, metals including iron and steel and fruits and nuts. Its main imports include machinery, nuclear technology, boilers, fertilizers, plastics and organic chemicals.