This morning I was on a panel at the Global Trade Development Week conference in Dubai discussing systems, structures and policies to support SMEs with overseas market entry & growth and how Free Zones play a part in this.
Amongst a range of issues we discussed the role of the public sector in supporting SME internationalisation and that this is an area where government spending has an obvious multiplier effect.
The Minister of Economy from Namibia asked an interesting question about the role of Free Zones in developing a country’s general economic positioning and competitiveness. The panel’s response was that the UAE is an excellent example in this regard with the original Free Zones in Dubai established very much as catalysts for economic growth and magnets for inward investment in specific industries and sectors where the UAE could gain a natural advantage.
It was an excellent session with very learned and august fellow panelists and I hope to attend the GTDW again next year.
Picture taken by @zel_april on Twitter