Under the Patronage of
Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai
Dr. Samir Hamrouni is CEO of the World Free Zones Organization. In this role he leads the organization to bring the Free Zone community together and promote their positive impact. In three years he has overseen the reach of the organization into over 120 countries. Through his flagship initiative Free Zone of the Future, Dr. Samir is providing Free Zones with the necessary tools to be tech-ready, innovative and sustainable organizations which contribute to the economic prosperity and social development of their host country. Previously, Dr. Samir was employed as Senior Advisor with Dubai Silicon Oasis (DSO), a 100% Government owned free zone that promotes modern technology based industries. Previous to DSO he was at Economic Zones World, EZW, a global developer and operator of economic zones, technology, logistics and industrial parks under the Dubai World Group. EZW’s portfolio includes JAFZA, one of the world’s largest free zones; TechnoPark (TP), a research driven business and industrial park, and Dubai Auto Zone, an industry specific free zone. Dr. Samir coordinated a multidisciplinary team, which developed for the Dubai Economic Development Department and Dubai Executive Council the “Dubai Medium Term Economic Plan 2012-2016”. Dr. Samir has served in various posts since he began his career. He was Manager of Research & Development at The Arab Science & Technology Foundation (ASTF). During 2004-2005, Samir joined the Euro-Arab Management School (EAMS), as Director of Business Development. In 2002, he founded the Barcelona Arab Center, which aims to consolidate Euro-Arab cooperation in the cultural, social, educational and economic fields, and until very recently he was its director. In 1997, he was working as Research Manager at the University of Barcelona (UB), where he played a key role in the internationalization of research and the establishment of “Parc Cientific de Barcelona” (Barcelona Science Park), a pioneer R+D+I structure (Research + Development + Innovation).
10:00 – 11:00
FDI Pillar Session 3 - Special Economic Zone (SEZs) and their Effectiveness in Attracting FDI
SEZs can make essential contributions to the growth and development of an economy. They can help attract foreign investments, create jobs and boost exports – both directly and indirectly where they succeed in building linkages with the broader economy. Zones can also support global value chain (GVC) participation, industrial upgrading and diversification.
Given the rise of digitalisation, the SEZs need to adapt and innovate to attract further investments, making the process of setting up a business simpler and faster. There are nearly 5,400 zones across 147 economies today, up from about 4,000 five years ago, and more than 500 new SEZs are in the pipeline. In this session, the panellist will discuss the advantages of having SEZs and how SEZs are innovating to attract new business.