November 2016



The first WFZC Zone Ambaassadors were appointed to mark the occasion of the Tenth Anniversary of WFZC in Ras Al Khaimah.
Their role includes representing the interests of the zone movement to governments, business organisations, regulatory bodies and local communities and media.
At the end of their 3 year terms we are appointing new Ambassadors among the participants to the Izmir Convention. Those selected will provide WFZC with a short briefing about events in their area mid way between the Annual Conventions.
The ‘Zone Ambassadors’ will be invited to include a reference to this appointment on their business cards and will be free to refer to their affiliation to WFZC during their term.

Updated appointments are as follows:

Southern Europe
Mr Domenico Bagala
Managing Director, Medcenter Container Terminal SpA, Italy
Northern Europe
Mr Kevin O'Connor
Founding Partner, Regional Development Partners, Ireland
Eastern Mediterranean & Middle East
Dr Faruk Guler
CEO, ESBAS Aegean Free Zone, Izmir, Turkey
North Africa
Mr Oussama El Omari
Emirates International Free Zones FZE, Morocco and UAE
West Africa
Ms. Hajia Hanatu Abubakar
Ghana Free Zones Board, Ghana
East Africa
Mr Cyrille Nabutola
CEO, Kenya Export Processing Zones Authority, Kenya
Southern Africa
Dra Neima Jossub
Legal Manager, Beluluane Industrial Park, Mozambique
Mr. James Bernard
Director, Dubai Multi Commodities Centre, Dubai, UAE
Mr P.C. Nambiar
Chairman, EPCES, India
Mr Daniel Griswold
President, National Association of Foreign-Trade Zones, Washington D.C., USA
Central & South America
to be nominated
to be nominated
South East Asia
to be nominated

October 2013

January 2013


I am delighted to welcome the Basra International Oil & Gas Free Zone (BIOGH) as Gold Sponsor for the 2013 WFZC Convention. The dates and location will be announced this Spring.

Graham Mather, Chairman, World Free Zone Convention and President, European Policy Forum, London and Brussels.

        Gold Sponsor

BIOGH was established in 2009 specifically to develop an oil and gas hub in the Free Zone at Khor Al Zubair in Iraq.

In September 2012 a joint venture was established between BIOGH and the Free Zone Authority (FZA) - an independent authority under the Ministry of Finance. It will develop a highly secure dedicated oil and gas hub extending to 11 square kilometres (11 million square metres) of mixed used industrial, logistics, oil and gas storage, commercial and residential accommodation.

Infrastructure works will begin in Spring 2013 with the intention that tenants will be able to take occupation in Autumn 2013.

For further details or

September 2012


Updated appointments are as follows:

North America
Mr. Randy Campbell
President, Campbell Trade Group Inc, York, Pennsylvania, USA
South America
Mr. Luis Oliveira
Foreign Trade Analyst, Ministry of Development, Industry and External Trade, Government of Brazil, Brasilia
Central America
Mr. Newlyn (Neil) Seaton
Chairman, Kingston Free Zone & Montego Bay Free Zone
Factories Corporation of Jamaica
Dr. Alberto Castronovo
Senior Manager, SIMEST, Rome, Italy
North Africa
Mr. Ramzi Zammali
Marketing and Investment Manager, Pole de Compétitivité, Monastir-l Fejja mfcpole, Tunis, Tunisia
Middle East/GCC
Mr. Oussama El Omari
Chief Executive Officer, Ras Al Khaimah Free Trade Zone, UAE
Mr. James Bernard
Director Business Development & Client Management, Dubai Multi Commodities Centre and JLT Free Zone, UAE
Mr. John Evans
Managing Director,  Tractus Asia Ltd., Bangkok, Thailand
West Africa
Dr. Noble Abe
CEO and Managing Director, Oil & Gas Free Zone Authority, Onne, Port Harcourt, Nigeria
East Africa
Dr. Adelhelm Meru
Director General, Tanzania Export Processing Zones Authority, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania

March 2012

Most Recent Events:2 ½ Day Training Course
with visit to WORLD CUSTOMS ORGANISATION Headquarters     WCO Logo

  More than 40 participants completed the new, highly succesful training Course, held in Brussels
WCO Group Brussels 2012
  Making Customs Your Free Zone Champion

Date:Monday 5th to Wednesday 7th March 2012
            Download   or   see     the Agenda

WFZC would like to thank the WCO for their hospitality in Brussels.

November 2011

     Joint Communiqué

after the 2011 World Free Zone Convention which was held on 10 and 11 November 2011, Shanghai - CHINA

July 2011

     Press Conference

to launch the 2011 World Free Zone Convention to be held on 10 and 11 November 2011, Shanghai

Press Conference in Shanghai

November 2010


Confirmed appointments announced at the Tenth Convention are as follows:

North America
Mr. Randy Campbell
President, Campbell Trade Group Inc, York, Pennsylvania, USA
South America
Mr. Luis Oliveira
Foreign Trade Analyst, Ministry of Development, Industry and External Trade, Government of Brazil, Brasilia
Central America
Mr. Newlyn (Neil) Seaton
Chairman, Kingston Free Zone & Montego Bay Free Zone
Factories Corporation of Jamaica
Dr. Alberto Castronovo
Senior Manager, SIMEST, Rome, Italy
North Africa
Mr. Ramzi Zammali
Marketing and Investment Manager, Pole de Compétitivité, Monastir-l Fejja mfcpole, Tunis, Tunisia
Middle East/GCC
Mr. Oussama El Omari
Chief Executive Officer, Ras Al Khaimah Free Trade Zone, UAE
Mr. John Evans
Managing Director,  Tractus Asia Ltd., Bangkok, Thailand
West Africa
Dr. Noble Abe
CEO and Managing Director, Oil & Gas Free Zone Authority, Onne, Port Harcourt, Nigeria
East Africa
Dr. Adelhelm Meru
Director General, Tanzania Export Processing Zones Authority, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania

Role of the Zone Ambassador

In general to be a voice of the free zone movement and the World Free Zone Convention in particular the region represented.
Also to be a sounding board in developing the Convention and its events, able to advise the Convention from time to time on matters including
  • New zone programmes or substantive amendments to zone programmes
  • Changes in investor attitudes
  • Information regarding conferences, seminars and workshops at which zone discussion forms part of the programme
  • Possible topics for Training Courses/Workshops
  • News of countries where the zone programme is running into difficulty
  • Identification of problem areas, such as customs, tax benefit issues etc.
  • Names of potential speakers for zone programmes (The Annual Convention or Training Courses/Workshops)
  • Passing on to the WFZC Secretariat the names of any persons interested in attending WFZC events.

August 2010

     Press Conference 10th Convention in Ras al Khaimah, UAE

Please see below the links of the news coverage in UAE daily newspapers and online from yesterday's announcement. We are still waiting for the monthly magazines and TV coverage to come out.

Gulf News:

Small businesses flourish in RAK FTZ

Call to focus on global reach

The National
RAK in race to entice business

Emirates Business 24/7
RAK eyes free trade zone expansion

Khaleej Times
RAK FTZ to host World Free Zone Convention



Al Khaleej


Al Ittihad

14th July 2007

     Free Zones and the World Trade Organization Agreement on Subsidies and Countervailing Measures

A recent issue of the Global Trade and Customs Journal contained an article by Raul A. Torres, a Legal Affairs Officer in the Development Division of the WTO Secretariat. This article was written to follow up his presentation to the 1st Joint International Briefing & Forum arranged by WFZC and the World Customs Organisation in Geneva in July 2006.

In view of the importance and topicality of the subject we are pleased to make this article freely available - Download the .pdf file (106 kb).

Update 4th January 2007



After a lively debate the draft constitution was agreed and the following countries and organisations signed up to become the founding members of AFZA :
  • Kano Free Zone Committee, Nigeria
  • Nigeria Export Processing Zones Authority (NEPZA)
  • Free Zones Corporation, Libya
  • Sudanese Free Zone, Khartoum
  • General Authority for Investment & Free Zones, Egypt
  • Commissariat Zone Franche, Ile Mandji, Gabon
  • Calabar Free Trade Zone, Nigeria
  • Zanzibar Investment Promotion Authority
  • VITIB FTZ Biotech & ITC, Ivory Coast
  • DMS Nigeria Ltd.
  • National Office for Industrial Free Zones, Cameroon
  • Snake Island Integrated Free Zone (SIIFZ), Apapa, Lagos, Nigeria
  • Oil & Gas Free Zone Authority, Onne, Nigeria
  • World Free Zone Convention, UK
  • Tanzania Ports Authority, Dar es Salaam

Update 9th November 2006

WFZC are pleased to welcome the following additional speakers not included in the marketing programme:

Prof. Sudi Sudarsanam, Professor of Finance & Corporate Control & Director, MSc in Finance & Management, School of Management, Cranfield University, UK
Ms. Valentina Siclovan, Vice President Operations, Black Sea Trade and Development Bank, Thessaloniki, Greece
Mr. Adrian Quayle, Vice-President, Strategic Sourcing, Gartner Consulting, and Research Director, National Outsourcing Association, London, UK
Mr. Anthony Bouthelier, Executive Director, CIAN, French Council of Investors in Africa, Paris, France

Gran Canaria and Jordan are amongst the Investors' Day presentations booked so far. Participants from more than 20 countries are already confirmed and this year's Convention is attracting a great deal of interest.

    African Free Zones Association meeting
It has been confirmed that a meeting will be chaired by Mr. Oche Obe, designated by the 2005 ad hoc committee as Chairman of the Association. It is planned that the new constitution will be presented and ratified at a meeting to be held at 17.30 on Investors' Day, Monday 11th December. The meeting will be open to all registered participants to the 2006 WFZC Conventon.

Update June 2006


    WFZC are pleased to announce the participation of
Mrs. Flávia Skrobot Barbosa Grosso
Superintendent of Manaus Free Trade Zone - Suframa Manaus - Amazonas, Brazil who will speak on the morning of the 25th July

    We are also pleased to welcome a new Media Partner for future events - Site Selection magazine of the United States, a leader in corporate relocation issues.

Participants and delegations from more than 30 countries have already registered and represent a good cross-section from Zones Authorities, Government, Corporates and their advisers.

We look forward to welcoming all who are able to join us for this unique meeting.

Update April 2006

     Zones continue to support World Free Zone Convention

101 Countries have now participed at WFZC Events.

Update February 2006

     World Free Zone Convention continues to support Zones

WAIPA (8th - 10th March 2006)

At the Annual Conference of WAIPA (World Association of Investment Promotion Agencies) in Geneva we will be in a prominent position running the CyberCafe.

The WAIPA meeting is held in the Palais des Nations and is attended by 250 to 300 influencial decision makers from nations around the world. These participants are responsible for the development of inward investment in their respective countries and the WFZC effort helps to ensure that Zones benefit from their investment promotion activities.

The full programme including speakers can be found on . This year's theme is particularly appropriate for Free Zones - WHAT  TOMORROW  BRINGS : THE RISE OF NEW PLAYERS - NEW FORMS OF FDI. The keynote speaker is Dr. Supachai Panitchpakdi, now Secretary General of UNCTAD. During his time as Secretary General Designate of  WTO he spoke at the inaugural and second WFZC International Conferences so he is familiar with our mission.

MIPIM (14th - 17th March 2006)

This annual event is considered the premier global meeting point of real estate developers and investors. It is attended by the public and private sector - national, regional and city governments, developers, investors as well as end users including transnational corporations. Just under 20,000 participants are expected this year in the French city of Cannes on the Cote D'Azur. More information is available on

As last year WFZC is arranging a short seminar open to all participants free of charge. We have invited a number of speakers who will brief those attending on MAXIMISING BUSINESS/TOURISM OPPORTUNITIES IN FREE ZONES/PORTS AND SPECIAL ECONOMIC ZONES. The seminar will be held in the Palais des Festivals on Wednesday 15th March at 17.30 hrs. Full details of our speakers can be obtained from the WFZC office by email or by telephone +44 207 839 1334.

Update December 2005

     Association of African Free Zones meeting
An open meeting was held after Day One of the London Convention in December. During this, and after much lively discussion, a small committee was formed from a number of countries. A Secretary was appointed to handle communications and drive the Association forward. Full details from
Mr. Chris Ndibe, General Manager, Calabar Free Trade Zone,, Tel: +(234) 87 210 012 or 014, Fax: +(234) 87 210 010

Update June 2005

     IZMIR 2005 Conference Report + Declaration
IZMIR is the second largest port in Turkey, with a population of more than 3 million, strategically situated at the eastern seabord of the Mediterranean. Turkey is now on the road to becoming a full member of the European Union along with other countries in the region. Its highly successful Free Zone programme has contributed greatly to the national economy since its inception just over 15 years ago. It has brought in up to date manufacturing and assembly methods as well as logistics and supply chain know-how.
Free Zones and Ports in the European Union and the surrounding countries are in a state of continuous development. Mr. Kursad Tuzmen, Minister of State in the Turkish government, who was responsible for the implementation of the Free Zone programme, joined colleagues from neighbouring countries to discuss how these special economic zones can be supported and encouraged.
Issues such as state aid, tax breaks and incentive programmes are making headlines globally and it is appropriate that this discussion was moderated by the World Trade Editor of the Financial Times. ( See his report )
This panel included Government officials from the Ministries of Economy of the region and further afield: Russian Federation, Nigeria, Republic of Macedonia, Serbia & Montenegro and Syria.

WFZC Chairman, Graham Mather, in his closing remarks after two remarkable days of high level discussion at the Aegean Free Zone, warmly thanked Kaya Tuncer, its Founder and Chairman on behalf of the delegates and speakers:

" You and your colleagues at ESBAS provided a marvellous venue and atmosphere for the first World Free Zone Convention event to held in a free zone itself. The efficiency and professionalism of your team was outstanding and the generosity of your hospitality much appreciated.

Delegates were extremely impressed with the success of the Aegean Free Zone and I am sure that the event will do much to promote the attractions of Turkey, and ESBAS in particular, as an ideal location for inward investment.
At WFZC we monitor Special Economic Zones around the world and more than more than 120 countries now have some form of zone development programmes. Of these more than 95 have now participated in our meetings. It is clear to us that sharing knowledge is a positive force which encourages those entrusted with this responsibility to achieve measurable and enduring success. "

Update April 2005

Training and Information on Free Zones

  • Two high-level Training Courses
      are taking place in the run-up to Izmir 2005. Participants from countries including Morocco, Tanzania, Finland, South Africa, Bulgaria, Namibia, Saudi Arabia, Nigeria, Djibouti etc. are taking up the challenge of INVESTMENT PROMOTION STRATEGIES and STRATEGIC MARKETING PLANS FOR FREE ZONES.

      Either of these two programmes can be run 'in house'. See the Training Course pages for the full syllabuses or write for more information to

  • New books on Free Zones and Infrastructure
      See tab on left for information on two new books of considerable value to those involved with Free Zones.

Update February 2005

The programme for IZMIR 2005 has now been mailed - please contact us by email if you have not received yours and we will send you a .pdf file.

We are eagerly looking forward to our first major International Conference of 2005. However two other opportunities to air the benefits of Free Zones will occur early on the same day in March.

  • On Wednesday 9th March Graham Mather will host a morning Seminar during MIPIM in Cannes. MIPIM is the premier world commercial real estate meeting and we are delighted to have the opportunity to be there. If you are registered to attend look out for details of the seminar venue on the MIPIM website or in the programme which will be amongst the hand-outs on arrival.
  • In the evening WFZC is sponsoring the evening Reception at WAIPA X at the Palais des Nations in Geneva. This event is attended by delegates from throughout the world and WAIPA is expecting a large group from China this year.

Once again WORLD FREE ZONE CONVENTION is spreading the word about Zones at key gatherings of influential corporate executives and government officials.

Update November 2004

Please see the Review of Cape Town in our History pages. You can also view details of other meetings held since 2001. We are proud of the fact that of the 120 countries with Zone programmes 90 have now participated at WFZC events.

Update September 2004

We are pleased to be able to offer the following tours for delegates to Cape Town


  • Morning Cape Town City and Table Mountain
  • Afternoon Cape Town City and Table Mountain
  • Morning Cultural Township Tour
  • Winelands Morning or Afternoon Tour


  • Cape Point and Cape of Good Hope
  • Cape Grand Slam Tour
  • Hermanus (famous for whale watching) Tour


  • Luxury Kruger National Park Tour
  • Garden Route Tour

Bookings for half-day and one-day tours may be made at the Convention. Pre and Post Convention Tours should be booked with the WFZC office in advance.

Update July 2004

fDi (Foreign Direct Investment) magazine

To coincide with the IV Annual Convention in Cape Town in October, FT Business will be publishing the 2005 Guide to Free Zones. Click here for full details(PDF=217ko). We should be pleased to pass on your details to fDi staff if you send us an email to

Free Zones Associations in Cape Town

The IV Annual Convention in South Africa is pleased to welcome members of the World Economic Processing Zones Association (WEPZA) to Cape Town in October. On Sunday 31st October they will hold their Annual General Meeting. During the Convention there will be a meeting of African Zones with a view to establishing a Pan African Free Trade Zone Association and Hector Vargas will be attending as a representative of the Comite de las Zonas Francas de las Americas.

We are much looking forward to visiting Cape Town. The South African stakeholders are planning a magnificent event and we expect a record turn out. Names of additional speakers will be posted from time to time on the welcome and news update pages of our website. We shall also post information about planned tours and visits.

In view of demand the number of one-day training courses to be held before the Convention has been increased to six. For more information or any queries contact

Early signs are that many countries will be sending several people in their delegations. Remember that names can be confirmed after the initial registration. The Earlybird cut-off date is the 31st August 2004.

Review CAIRO 2004

The hugely successful CAIRO 2004 International Conference took up much of the time of the WFZC Secretariat during the early part of the year. Our first excursion into the African continent was enjoyed by all concerned. One of the most interesting features was the choice of speakers from Egypt including hands-on managers from several of the Zones there. The post-conference visit organised by GAFI was particularly useful and provided a glimpse of how the Zones work in practice.

The following extract appeared in the June/July issue of fDi magazine:


Some 30 participants to CAIRO 2004 organised by WORLD FREE ZONE CONVENTION spent a day touring some of the factories in Egypt's Free Zones. First on the Agenda at the Nasr City Public Free Zone just outside Cairo was Leoni Wiring Systems (formerly Lucas) who make all the tresses for the UK manufactured Range Rover Freelander vehicles. All components, other than cables which are sourced locally, are imported before the wiring systems are assembled in Egypt - the final product being re-exported to Newcastle. Delta Textile Egypt is another local manufacturer whose output is also destined for the export market. Moving on to 10th Ramadan City the group visited Swiss Garments Co. a ready to wear specialist group whose range of products are mainly destined for Marks & Spencer also in the UK.

The final tour was of the fully integrated and vast site of Oriental Weavers International whose share of the American market for machine-made area rugs is 30%. The visitors were hosted by the Chairman and CEO Mr. Mohamed Farid Khamis and were able to see the full process from polyproplyene to subtly coloured rugs with a wide variety of design and sizes. The group also make more traditional carpets woven from wool and silk but it was the powerful image of the raw by-product of the petroleum industry being transformed into a work of art which fascinated the visitors who compared notes over lunch before returning to the city centre.

Participants to CAIRO 2004, including Mrs. Ama Pepple, Permanent Secretary to the Nigerian Federal Ministry of Commerce, after the visit to Swiss Garments Co.

Update February 2004

CAIRO 2004 International Conference launched in Geneva

Plans are well under way for the next event to be held in Cairo in late April.

WFZC was pleased to host a cocktail party at the WORLD ASSOCIATION OF INVESTMENT PROMOTION AGENCIES (WAIPA) Executive Meeting in Geneva in January. This event was attended by more than 250 participants from throughout the world.

The event served as a launch for Cairo 2004 and was attended by a number of delegates from Egypt including the Chairman of the host country co-ordinators the General Authority for Investment & Free Zones (GAFI) Dr. Mohamed Ghamrawy.

The decision to have a regular presence at the Geneva Meeting is part of the ongoing effort to bridge the gap between national Investment Promotion Agencies and Free Zone Authorities and Operators (see Chairman's Message).


WFZC have recently signed a partnership agreement with the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency based at the World Bank in Washington, DC, USA. The agreement is to provide content for their online services including FDI Xchange and Investment Promotion Network (IPAnet) as one of their network of marketing partners by assisting to build a knowledge bank on Free Zones through an exchange of relevant information. Some 5,000 investors worldwide have already subscribed to these services and the number is increasingly rapidly.

To receive regular e-mail updates on investment opportunities and business environment conditions, countries, sectors and topics of your interest, register in the FDI Xchange visit

See a sample e-mail at

For more information on IPAnet and MIGA's other online services, go to

Please address your comments, feedback, news items of interest and enquiries regarding political risk guarantee products to


fDi February/March issue

The Free Zone pages in the current issue of Foreign Direct Investment magazine have a new format. In additional to international developments we are including News from the Zones. If you have an item you would like to be included in a future issue please inform us at

Update January 2004


Thursday 4th December 2003

A One-Day OPEN FORUM met to discuss the implications of the WTO meeting in Cancun and how to solve the issues of

This event was open to all Free Zone and Industrial/Science Park Authorities and Operators, Investment Promotion Agencies and Regional Authorities. A key feature of the Conference was the opportunity to examine various options for creating exceptions and legal protections to facilitate the work of Zones and Parks throughout the world.
It was agreed by all to be a resounding success giving those present the opportunity of making their voice, and that of their country, region or zone, heard by those who are taking policy decisions now which will affect their future prosperity.

WFZC thanks JEBEL ALI FREE ZONE AUTHORITY for its support at this event.

Update August 2003

The 2003 Convention was indeed the No. 1 Meeting Place for the world's Free Zones
for participants from every continent and region. A warm thank you to all our Speakers, Sponsors and Delegates!

Dr. Francesca Trampus's special Report Challenges, Threats & New Opportunities is now available to purchase - see Library pages for full details of how to order this and other 2003 available texts.

2003 Website Awards

Category One - Joint Winners! East London Development Zone Corporation,
South Africa Consortium of the Free Zone of Gran Canaria,

Category Two - Winner Export Processing Zones Authority,

See Website Awards page for more information and photographs.


Immediately after the Brussels Convention delegates were offered a rare insight into the workings of three of the Institutions of the European Union:  The Commission itself, the European Parliament and the Economic and Social Committee.

Those who attended had an opportunity to question senior officials on Trade and Development Issues as well as to visit the impressive Parliament building which is at the heart of Europe.

WFZC hopes to make Visits to local institutions a feature of future Annual Conventions.