Dubai - Jebel Ali Free Zone (Jafza), the UAE’s flagship trade and logistics hub, has seen a 15 per cent growth in the number of petrochemicals, oil and gas companies registered in the free zone. The announcement was made at a forum held at the National Industries Park in Dubai to promote the growth of the sector in the UAE and across the region. The event was attended by over 70 companies in the free zone, including business leaders, key officials from government entities and senior Jafza officials. Discussions focused on the role of the petrochemicals industry in boosting the national economy and the significance of research and development to raise production capacity and sustain long-term growth. With the free zone attracting 112 new sector businesses in the last year, the UAE government continues to support innovative enterprises and mega projects in the industry.
Jebel Ali Free Zone chief operating officer Talal Al Hashimi said: “According to a report from the Gulf Petrochemicals and Chemicals Association (GPCA), the petrochemicals industry in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries is export-oriented with 70.3 million tonnes of total production exported in 2015. Products from the region, including plastics and fertilizers, are supplied to over 166 countries. As a logistics hub, Jafza provides multi-modal connectivity to international markets with a dynamic and streamlined global supply chain, supported by DP World’s operations in 40 countries.” The forum also provided a platform for local regulators to update businesses on changes in policies and procedures. This included Dubai police sharing information on security permissions and approvals for companies associated with chemical trading, storage and related activities. Jafza officials shed light on recent free zone initiatives, including the opening of new warehouses, office spaces at Jafza One, accommodation for workers and ongoing sustainability projects. Among the companies represented at the forum were the American multinational conglomerate 3M, German chemical manufacturer BASF, international specialty chemicals leader Dow Chemicals, chemical distributors Petrochem and petroleum product trading and storage providers Star Energy, as well as senior officials from Jafza, DP World, Dubai Customs, Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Trakhees, Dubai Exports, and the Port and Free Zone Security.