RAK FTZ seeks IT companies

Ras Al Khaimah Free Trade Zone sees strong interest from show visitors and looks to attract various technology companies to fill out its roster.

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By  Imithisan Giado Published  September 10, 2007

Ras Al Khaimah Free Trade Zone marks its fourth appearance at GITEX Technology Week with an increased focus on securing more technology firms.

Imran Hussain, sales executive at RAK FTZ says that the exhibition represents a very good opportunity to meet customers from all over the world.

"In previous years, we focused only on courting commercial companies," reveals Hussain. "This year, we want to attract the full range of licensees, including commercial, industrial and consultancies," he adds.

According to Hussain, the company met with more than 1500 potential clients last year and has already met more than 3500 visitors in just the first two days of this year's event. 

The free zone registered 800 new companies in the first half of this year, with a capital investment of AED1 billion, bringing the total number of registered companies to 3,450. Around 31% of the firms came from Europe, compared to 23% in 2006. Middle Eastern and Asian companies comprised 70% of the remainder of the new entrants. These businesses provide a range of goods and services within the FTZ. "We have a wide range of goods being manufactured, from armoured cars to marble slabs," says Imran.

RAK FTZ reckons that part of the reason for its success lies in its simpler approach to free zone process.

"We are more flexible in documentation procedures and have more facilities, land, and warehouses. Our biggest advantage, in fact, is that we have space available at a time when our competitors are already full. Our prices are also extremely competitive, with warehouses, to give an example, costing significantly less than other free trade zones," reveals Imran. 

Hussain noted that the FTZ has made significant progress in attracting major regional partners earlier this year, signing Memorandums of Understanding (MoU) with large players in the field, including the Kerala Chamber of Commerce. The Zone also inked an agreement with online marketplace Tejari. The agreement provides companies in the FTZ with e-business capabilities, allowing them to market their goods and services to the international market through an online portal which will be built by Tejari. The free zone has also signed an agreement with KGL International. 

RAK FTZ has recently completed what it believes to be successful marketing efforts in a number of overseas exhibitions and conventions, including fairs in Egypt, India, Iran, South Korea, China, Germany and most recently, Japan. FTZ

plans further overseas promotional ventures, with an interest in attracting companies from Europe , Asia and the Indian subcontinent.

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