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UAE free trade zones boost competitiveness

MARKETS TODAY, DUBAI, 07/06/2017.

The UAE’s free trade zones are using advanced information management tools to drive the doubling of the global free trade zone GDP, experts announced Monday. Globally, the contribution of free trade zones to the Islamic Economy is set to double to $117 billion by 2021, according to a recent report by researchers Salaam Gateway. The UAE hosts 4 of the world’s top 10 free trade zone cities for the Islamic Economy.

Industry-watchers agree the new Ras Al Khaimah Economic Zone is showing global best practices in using digital transformation to support its more than 13,000 companies. “Digital transformation is vital for UAE free trade zones to drive the country’s economic growth. Using the latest information management solutions, trade zones can deliver digital services to boost the business competitiveness of small businesses,” said Andrew Calthorpe, CEO at the free trade zone consultancy Condo Protego.

In the UAE, Condo Protego has seen strong success on driving digital transformation for one of the region’s largest free trade zones. By replacing legacy infrastructure with automated software-defined and scale-out infrastructure, the free trade zone can publish its own business applications and move closer to cloud and mobile app delivery. “Using cloud and mobility information management solutions, free trade zone businesses can gain a level playing field with large enterprises.

Businesses can incorporate faster and more easily, better manage sales and supply chain, and enhance their ability to better meet customer needs,” added Calthorpe. Among UAE free trade zones, Condo Protego is seeing strong demand for solutions such as Dell EMC hyper-converged infrastructure, and Dell EMC software-defined storage such as ScaleIO, ECS scale-out storage, and Isilon network attached storage.