KARACHI: “Ras Al Khaimah Free Trade Zone (RAK FTZ) has emerged as one of the best location in the region for industries and home of around 8000 companies of over 105 countries. Pakistani industrialists can explore untapped potential of their products by setting up commercial hub to grab the market of Africa, Europe and South Asia.” This was stated by Mr. Wilson Chan-Director Regional Business Development RAKFTZ while talking to Pakistani business community in Karachi.
“RAKFTZ is an ideal location for Pakistani investors as already around 400 Pakistani companies have been enjoying tax-free environment with 100 per cent foreign ownership. Furthermore, around 1.7 million Pakistanis are working in a wide variety of industries including textiles, raw materials, cotton, fabrics, clothes and clothing accessories, as well as building materials, rice, wheat, and food processing machines,” he added.
Wilson further said that UAE’s name is respected world over for quality and standards of goods. Products manufactured in RAKFTZ are well known for high quality standards and have huge demand in global markets. “Ras Al Khaimah can prove the best gateway for Pakistani industries to gain traction in the dynamic Middle East region and lucrative markets in Africa, Europe and South Asia,” he added.
The UAE is committed to make the region heart of the businesses in the region and provides a wide range of opportunities for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) as well as large businesses from Pakistan.
It is pertinent to mention that UAE and Pakistan have four decades old financials ties and commercial banks in both countries have been facilitating investors and promoting regional trade. Pakistan’s Habib Bank and United Bank are operating in the UAE for over four decades, and four UAE banks are present in Pakistan. Moreover, food and textiles top the list of export commodities from Pakistan to the UAE, with oil and gold leading imports from the Emirates.
‘The UAE Economic zone facilitates the investors with high levels of safety, openness of trade and security. Moreover, the government never compromises over prudent economic policies that have yielded the highest levels of political stability, as recognized and affirmed by Fitch’s A rating,’ he added.
President KCCI Iftikhar Vohra said that Pakistani products are falling short of Indian products in terms of market reach to africa and middle east. Places like RAKFTZ are golden opportunities to bridge this gap and enable our products to reach these markets.
Another major advantage for business operating in RAK FTZ is that the costs of living and doing business in Ras Al Khaimah are up to 50 per cent lower than they are in some of the UAE’s big-city centres, and this allows clients to achieve the maximum return on their investment.
While highlighting the significance of the zone he added that Ras Al Khaimah is one of the seven emirates that comprise the country along with Dubai and the capital Abu Dhabi. Less than an hour’s drive from Dubai, Ras Al Khaimah has earned a reputation as a gateway to lucrative markets and is home to several large enterprises, including RAK Ceramics, the world’s largest maker of ceramic tiles; Streit Group, the world’s largest manufacturer of armoured vehicles; and Julphar Pharmaceuticals, the largest pharmaceuticals manufacturer in the Middle East.
‘As the economy of Ras Al Khaimah continues to grow and diversify, the Emirate is attracting more investors from the real estate, tourism, trade, hospitality, services, and educational sectors, among others. Ras Al Khaimah has been ranked among the Top 10 Small and Mid-sized Global Cities of the Future along with Zurich, Geneva, Edinburgh, and other internationally recognised cities. The ranking, published in the London-based Financial Times’ fDi Magazine, lists Ras Al Khaimah at eighth place overall, and in the top 10 in six different categories,’ Wilson concluded.
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