BSA together with JAFZA organized a four-day road-show in Paris and Lyon, which included seminars and networking events with 300 of France’s most prominent companies from a range of industry sectors.
The road-show presented Dubai as a key business hub and promoted the expansion of French companies into the region by highlighting the opportunities available for French companies across all economic sectors in the UAE, and by emphasizing the mutual benefits of strengthening trade ties between the two countries.
SE Maadhad Hareb Meghair Alkhyeli Jaber, UAE Ambassador to France, officially opened the seminar by discussing the strong mutual relations between France and the UAE and the success of French companies in the UAE.
The attendees received useful insight from other professionals in the MENA region, including from Michael Kortbawi, Partner at BSA, who spoke on the advantages of setting up in JAFZA, Francois Sporrer from Business France, Pascal Maigniez at DTCM-Paris and Thierry Lhoyer and Pierfrancesco Carino at Emirates Airlines, who discussed the opportunities within the region, and their role in facilitating those opportunities.
Michael Kortbawi commented ”the road-show was very successful.The seminars are not the first organised with JAFZA in France, but have been by far the best and well attended. We met and networked with many individuals and companies looking to setup and expand their operation in the MENASA region, by using Dubai as a hub. We believe as a result of the road-show we have helped raised awareness of Dubai and the opportunities of doing business in Jebel Ali Free Zone (JAFZA).”
Mohamed Ibrahim Aljanahi, Deputy General Manager of JAFZA commented ”The exhibition and Jafza corporate seminars concerned with the rapid growth of the Middle East and the excellent opportunities this region and Jafza to French companies.The strong growth recorded by French companies to Jafza has even more motivated French companies to integrate the free zone.We expect a minimum growth rate of 10% in the number of French companies in Jafza this year.”
The seminars addressed common concerns that foreign investors and entrepreneurs have about expanding to the UAE, by inviting several key figures from JAFZA to share their knowledge and experience with incorporating foreign companies in the UAE and JAFZA in particular. These presenters included Tariq Bin Ghalaita, the Vice President of Europe and UAE at JAFZA, Abdulaziz Redha, the Deputy Director of Europe at JAFZA, and Ronald Benoit, CEO of EuroTech FZE – a leading electronics company in JAFZA.
The seminars were attended by industrial and manufacturing companies and various SMEs, many of which already have a strong presence in Africa and are looking to enter the UAE market to set up a hub in the Middle East as well.
The road-show created a dynamic breeding ground for future collaboration between the countries by bringing together key governmental entities that support the expansion of French companies overseas, such as Paris and Lyon Chambers of Commerce, and Business France – the French agency for international business developments, as well as SME Association and various international banks operating in France.