Pakistan has become the second largest investor in Ajman Free Zone (AFZ) with a share of 20 percent registered companies. While speaking at a press conference here at Karachi Press Club on Wednesday, Ali Hussain Fahmi, Head of Customer Service, Ajman Free Zone, said that out of the total registered companies in Ajman Free Zone, over 20 percent companies belonged to Pakistanis, making the country the second largest investor in the Zone.
“The massive share of Pakistani investors in AFZ is a testimony to business opportunities that exists between Pakistan and the UAE. It also reflects that Pakistani companies are taking full advantage of the business opportunities in the Middle East,” he added. He said that investors from around the globe were taking keen interest in setting up their businesses in AFZ and the number of investors was increasing.
“In order to further explore the growing inward investments from Pakistan and highlight the importance of the AFZ, a twomember high profile delegation from AFZ will meet Pakistani investors at a seminar on Thursday (today),” he added. He urged Pakistani manufacturers and traders to establish their regional presence to tap the opportunities in Middle East. During the visit to Pakistan, the AFZ officials would meet investors from various industries, trade and service sector and showcase multiple facilities and investment opportunities available for the Pakistan business community, he added.
He further said that convenient setup solutions, diverse range of licensing options along with a taxfree operation were some of the core subjects to be discussed with the prospective investors.
Fahmi said that during the Expo 2020 in the UAE, a staggering 20 million visitors were expected to visit the country. There would be huge infrastructure development, investment initiatives and business and employment opportunities and Pakistan was well poised to take best advantage of the economic activities in the UAE and Middle East region, he mentioned.
Highlighting the incentives for investment at Ajman Free Zone, he said that the Zone offered 100 percent foreign ownership with the facility of 100 percent repatriation of capital and profit. Talking about taxes, he informed that there was no personal income tax for investors at AFZ. “Having a diverse focus, Ajman Free Zone offers a range of licenses to accommodate all business types, which helps us in accommodating companies from all fields, and we can provide a platform across the board to facilitate their business,” he added.
He further said that the AFZ offered Trading Licenses (known as commercial license) for import and export, service licenses, industrial license and national industrial license and the investors could benefit from an array of facilities ranging from Smart Office (desk space), offices, warehouse and land.
Speaking on the occasion, Abdalla Yehia Gohar, Head of Financial Planning Division, said that for the largescale industrial and manufacturing units who intended to build their own structure to suit their industrial requirements, a land area was leased for a period of 20 years. This 20year land contact was renewable for another 20 years guaranteeing 40 years tax and customs free operations, he added.
Talking about advantages of setting up industries in the AFZ, he informed that continuous supply of cheap energy sources, most economical wage structure and easy access to vast work force, total exemption from all import and export duties, total elimination of all service charges and hidden fees, exceptionally low handling charges, and customs free operations were the most attractive features. “Situated at the foot of the Arabian Gulf, the Ajman Free Zone is widely regarded as the ideal depot for the supply of goods and services for both domestic and regional markets around the UAE. The inexpensive energy and the absence of bureaucratic complications, coupled with the availability of numerous infrastructure facilities, have attracted many investors to base their operations in Ajman,” he informed.
Meanwhile, Mahmood Al Hashemi, General Manager, AFZ, in his statement said: “We want to enhance business relations, promote trade and strengthen ties with Pakistan’s business community. The road show is aimed at attracting Pakistani businessmen, entrepreneurs and investors who would like to spread their operations internationally especially in the Middle Eastern region, whereby the UAE serves as a springboard and a centre point to enter the regional markets.”