DIFC Encounters Strong Interest in Second Stage of Global Drive to Attract New BusinessPress Release 15 May 2011 08:03 am
- Second stage involved strengthening existing relationships and building new ones with companies in the United States and Brazil
- Target sectors included Insurance, Banking, Funds Management, Professional services, and Multinational corporations
- Next stage involves meetings in China, South Korea, Malaysia and Brunei later this month
DIFC, the financial and business hub connecting the regional emerging markets and the world, is engaged in a global drive to attract new business to the Centre. A senior DIFC delegation has successfully completed the second stage of its international campaign to strengthen relationships with existing clients planning to grow their business in the region. The delegation also discussed with potential new clients the vast opportunities in regional markets and how DIFC is the ideal platform to capitalise on them.
Abdulla Mohammed Al Awar, CEO of DIFC Authority, commented, "There is strong interest from companies in the US and Brazil in capturing the next wave of growth in emerging markets using DIFC as a vantage point to access business opportunities in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia. The IMF expects MENA economies to grow by 4.1% in 2011, despite the recent regional events. In addition, structural reforms are planned to increase the participation of private sector, particularly in infrastructure and development projects. These are expected to boost economic growth still further."
Marwan Ahmad Lutfi, Deputy CEO and Head of Business Development, DIFC Authority, commented, "In 2010 we saw 52% of new companies registered coming from North America and Europe while 45% came from the Middle East and Asia, confirming DIFC's position as a global financial hub, connecting East and West. Our global drive builds on this trend, and we have prioritised an extensive list of global companies from around the world with whom we intend to forge closer ties. This drive complements our other initiatives which aim to ensure that DIFC will always stay at the forefront of providing the most efficient business environment possible."
In the United States, the DIFC delegation met selected companies in multiple states and covering a range of sectors including financial services, insurance, and professional services. Currently, there are more than 100 US companies operating in the Centre, occupying roughly 13% of the total office space in the DIFC's Gate District.
In Brazil, DIFC held a series of meetings in Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paolo against a positive backdrop of flourishing trade between Brazil and the Middle East. Brazilian exports to the region reaching US$ 870m in March, a 35.5% increase over the same month last year. As a result of strengthening bilateral trade, DIFC has experienced an increase in demand from Brazilian companies wishing to base themselves in the Centre to take advantage of business opportunities in the region and also to access the DIFC's pool of liquidity. DIFC met with the top Brazilian companies from a range of sectors including; agriculture, oil & gas, food manufacturing and processing, financial services, and insurance as well as meeting the senior management in the Brazilian Stock Exchange.
The DIFC's global drive started in India in April where the delegation held successful meetings with a large number of companies in five Indian cities. The next stage of DIFC's global initiative will involve meeting existing and prospective clients in China, South Korea, Malaysia and Brunei later this month.
DIFC launched in 2004 and has grown to be recognised as a global financial hub for business and finance in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia region. The Centre provides a robust platform for its companies to transact business throughout the region supported by modern infrastructure, a regulatory and legal framework maintained to the highest international standards. The companies operating in DIFC employ a total of 14,000 people and, in 2009, its businesses accounted for roughly 1.1% of the UAE's economy and 3.8% of Dubai's.