A new non-profitable organisation is planned to operate as an association of all free trade zones in the world. It is registered in Geneva, Switzerland but it is headquartered in Dubai, UAE. The World Free Zones Organisation will try to increase public awareness of the advantages of the free zones and reach for the standardisation of practices across the industry.
At present, it is launched with the representation from 14 free zones. The membership is open to all countries who are members of the United Nations.
The official launch of the World FZO, which was registered in January, happened in Dubai on May 19th 2014 at the Jumeirah Emirates Towers Hotel, Dubai. Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, Shaikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum participated in the opening ceremony.
The World FZO has elected Dr Mohammed Al Zarooni as its chairman. He is also the director-general of the Dubai Airport Freezone. He told reporters that the Organisation plans to enhance the development of Free Zones in other parts of the world.
Currently, 135 countries in the world have about 3,500 free zones. In Dubai alone, there are 22 free zones with 19,000 companies in them. These free zones create 25 % of Dubai GDP and 75 % of export.