Ajman Free Zone bullish towards Indian SMEs | SupportBiz

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Ajman Free Zone bullish towards Indian SMEs

On his visit to the capital, HE Mahmood Al Hashemi, Director General, Ajman Free Zone Authority (AFZA), UAE, spoke about his interest in Indian SMEs and invited them to his free zone. In an exclusive interaction with SupportBiz, Hashemi highlighted the opportunities that Ajman Free Zone offers to Indian SMEs.

Edited excerpts:

What is the main purpose of your visit to the national capital?

The purpose of the visit is two-fold: to meet potential Indian investors in Ajman, and elaborate on the diverse investment options through AFZA. During this visit, we interacted with industry players and other distinguished stakeholders, and highlighted our plans to build long-lasting and lucrative means of economic and social co-operation between the two countries.

What are the key attractions of AFZA for Indian SMEs?

The Ajman Free Zone has been organized in such a manner that different types of industries and business activities can be carried out. Products can be easily shipped from the Ajman port to their destinations. In addition, the Ajman Free Zone offers advantages such as 100% foreign ownership and repatriation of capital and profits, no personal income tax and low labour cost. It is the only down-town free zone in UAE. The zone also offers a diverse range of licenses for trading, services and industrial activities, competitive lease facilities, and an array of other facilities - ranging from Smart Office to land and warehousing. The most important benefit of investing in the Ajman Free Zone is the flexibility of transactions and the ease with which procedures are executed, with business licenses issued in 24 hours. This is in light of the new strategic plan of AFZA.

We understand the business conditions of SMEs. We understand that resources are always a challenge when it comes to SMEs. Our solutions are designed in such a way that the needs of SMEs are accommodated in the best possible manner. 

What is the level of participation you have experienced so far from Indian businesses?

We are one of the fastest growing free zones in the UAE region. We have over 7,000 companies working in the zone, of which more than 40% have Indian promoters. To further accelerate Indian investments, AFZA has thrown open their gates to Indian citizens by offering all the necessary facilities to ensure that the investors get the best services and products. Thus, Indian investors will be able to avail premium investment privileges and opportunities in the Emirate of Ajman.

What is the kind of unique positioning your free zone enjoys when it comes to standing apart from competition?

With some many free zones operating in different regions, AFZA is the first to offer flexible payment facilities to its clients, of up to 12 instalments. This will promote entrepreneurship, as the entry-level cost of doing business is reduced, giving an opportunity to young entrepreneurs to establish themselves, and supporting mid-level operating businesses.

Overall cost-efficiency factor is decisive for SMEs. How do you look at this aspect while targeting SMEs?

We understand that SMEs need cost-effective solutions. Hence, we also focus on offering cheap energy, the most economic wage structure, and easy access to the vast work force, total exemption from all import and export duties, total elimination of all service charges and hidden fees, and exceptionally low handling charges. The 20-year land contract is renewable for another 20 years, guaranteeing 40 years of tax- and customs-free operations, lowest lease prices, and world-class infrastructure. All of these benefits are designed keeping in mind the needs of SMEs.

With Ajman Free Zone celebrating 25 years of business excellence, encouraging industries and entrepreneurs, it looks forward to further strengthening ties with India and the country’s business community.