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Shannon Free Zone on founding board of World Free Zones Organisation, launched in Dubai today

Organisation launched by HH Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Prime Minister of UAE and Ruler of Dubai

Representation on board will be major opportunity to grow trade for Shannon and Ireland

19th May 2014 – Dubai, United Arab Emirates: The birthplace of duty free zones, Shannon Airport, has today scored another remarkable first as its Chairman Rose Hynes was named as one of the founding board members of the World Free Zones Organisation at its launch in Dubai. Ms Hynes also takes a key role in the new organisation as its founding Treasurer.

The inaugural board gathered today at the Jumeirah Emirates Tower Hotel in Dubai for the launch of the influential new body by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai. Shannon is one of only two European free zones on the inaugural board, along with Barcelona.
Speaking from Dubai, Ms Hynes said that the launch was another prestigious moment and one that offers great opportunity and promise for the Shannon Free Zone. “The Shannon Free Zone, as the first free zone in the world, has been replicated as a concept the world over in the 55 years since it was founded. It is an honour to be a member of the founding board of the World Free Zones Organisation and this shows how much Shannon continues to resonate at the highest level internationally.

“We are in great company as this organisation brings leading Free Zone expertise together from around the world. It will promote an exchange of ideas and business connections and will facilitate trade. Undoubtedly Shannon and Ireland will benefit from that. Being a member of the founding board positions Shannon excellently to take advantage of what is a unique networking opportunity at a very high level.”

Free Zones, of which Shannon was the world’s first in 1959, are areas with special incentives or attractions for new industries, especially export-oriented industries. The World Free Zones Organization (World FZO) is a new non-profit entity bringing together free zones and Special Economic Zones around the world to offer global leadership on the subject of free zones, provide a range of services for its members, and increase awareness of the role of free zones in economic and social development and foreign direct investment.

World FZO, which is open to all member nations of the United Nations, comprises representatives of established free zones as well as local, regional and international free zone associations from across the world. The official office holders on the board of directors, which were announced during the press conference, include Dr. Mohammed Alzarooni (UAE) as Chairperson, Mr. Luis Pellerano (Dominican Republic) as Vice Chairperson, Mr. P.C. Nambiar (India) as Secretary and Ms. Hynes as Treasurer.
During the launch, Chairperson Dr. Mohammed Alzarooni said: “The World Free Zones Organization, which we are excited to be launching today, will promote a spirit of collaboration, dialogue and guidance. It will provide help to nations that can benefit from the free zone model and whose economies require foreign direct investment in order to build strong, robust and diverse economies for the future.

“The creation of such an organization would not be possible without the inspired leadership and vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum. It is his vision that led us to establish the first ever multilateral organization grown out of Dubai.”


About World Free Zones Organization:
The World Free Zones Organization (World FZO) is a non-profit entity operating as an association for all free zones around the world. Established in Geneva, Switzerland in 2013 and headquartered in the Dubai Airport Freezone in United Arab Emirates, World FZO provides global leadership in terms of knowledge of free zones, works to enhance public and general knowledge and perceptions of free zones, provide a multitude of services (such as research, events and data) for its members and the community, as well as help to increase awareness of the advantages of free zones in terms of economic and social development, foreign and direct investment.

About Shannon Free Zone
Shannon Free Zone (SFZ), the first Free Zone in the world, was created in 1959 to attract international export-oriented businesses. SFZ has inspired the Special Economic Zones in China as well as Free Zones around the world. Today SFZ is home to the largest cluster of Foreign Direct Investment in Ireland outside Dublin, with over 100 companies, employing over 6,500 staff.

Shannon Free Zone is part of the Shannon Group, along with Shannon Airport and Shannon Heritage. Shannon Group’s property assets, including Shannon Free Zone, total 2,700 acres (1,100 hectares).

Shannon is also home to the International Aviation Services Centre (IASC), an expanding cluster of aerospace firms centred on Shannon Free Zone.

With input from fellow World FZO members, Shannon Group is now working to reimagine the Shannon Free Zone for the 21st century, focusing on new opportunities in logistics and aerospace.