Peter Fort, CEO of the Ras Al Khaimah Free Trade Zone (RAK FTZ), one of the fastest-growing and most cost-effective free zones in the Middle East, hosted seminars last month for investors in the Spanish cities of Madrid, Bilbao and Barcelona. Mr Fort highlighted business-friendly opportunities for investors in Spain to profitably expand their companies into fast-growing global markets by setting up businesses in the free zone.
"The Ras Al Khaimah Free Trade Zone is the perfect home for Spanish investors who are looking to expand their operations into the Middle East, because we offer the most cost-effective and flexible business solutions in the region, along with a nurturing and politically stable investment environment," Mr Fort said. "Not only does RAK FTZ offer top-notch facilities, award-winning service, and ongoing business set-up support to meet the needs of each individual company, it also does so at a lower cost than its competitors, allowing companies to maximise their profits."
Mr Fort continued: "I would like to express my sincere gratitude to Her Excellency Dr Hessa Abdullah Al Otaiba, the United Arab Emirates Ambassador to Spain, in Madrid; and His Excellency Sultan Ali Al Harbi, Consul General of the UAE, in Barcelona. Their support for our visit to Spain, including organising meetings between the free zone and Spanish investors, substantially contributed to the success of our trip."
HE Mr Al Harbi addressed Spanish business owners during a welcome speech at the RAK FTZ seminar in Barcelona. The seminar, like the other ones in Madrid and Bilbao, offered tips on 'Doing Business in the UAE'. Several investors who attended the seminars expressed a strong interest in setting up companies at RAK FTZ.
"The UAE - and Ras Al Khaimah in particular - provides a cost-effective, economically and politically secure gateway for Spanish companies to access fast-growing markets in Africa, the Middle East, South Asia, and across Europe," HE Mr Al Harbi said. "It also allows investors to easily tap into the trade flows between East and West. I would like to congratulate the Ras Al Khaimah Free Trade Zone for coming to Spain and sharing the ways in which investors here can easily grow their companies worldwide by setting up shop in Ras Al Khaimah."
In addition to connecting with investors in Spain, RAK FTZ also established contacts there with Joaquim Llimona I Balcells, director of international relations - City Council of Barcelona; and Iban Rabasa I Benavent, director general for foreign affairs - Government of Barcelona. Both gentlemen agreed to help RAK FTZ strengthen the UAE's trade ties with Spain.
The UAE is among Spain's major trading partners in the Gulf region, thanks to its zero taxes, economic resilience, advanced infrastructure and strategic geographical location. In 2013, Spanish exports to the UAE increased by 33% to reach €2 billion. Economic relations between the two countries have been bolstered in recent years by a rising number of trade missions and high-level official visits to each country. Since then, more Spanish companies have established a presence in the UAE, and UAE investments in Spain have witnessed sustained growth.