UAQ FTZ to exhibit business growth strategies for the ceramic industry in Gujarat

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Umm Al Quwain Free Trade Zone (UAQ FTZ) joins as one of the top exhibitors in Indian Ceramics Asia 2022, the annual trade fair and conference for the ceramic and brick industry, scheduled to take place from 6 – 8th April 2022 at The Exhibition Center, Gandhinagar in Gujarat. Following the exhibition, UAQ FTZ delegates will meet leading ceramic manufacturers in Morbi to present tailor-made business solutions and help them expand their base to the UAE.

In line with the exhibition and visit, Johnson M. George, the General Manager of UAQ Free Trade Zone Authority reflects on his thoughts and explains how UAQ FTZ can be an ideal destination for ceramic manufacturers.

  1. How important do you think it is for international businesses to have a presence in the UAE?

Over the years, the UAE has sustained exponential and robust economic growth. The country has been at the forefront of leading and developing modern infrastructure, and administering numerous reforms to ease doing business in, from and through its borders. A strategic location in the Arabian Peninsula hugely contributes to its well-known status as “The Gateway between the East and the West”. It certainly is an important factor for any company seriously considering expansion or even trade with Africa, Europe or the Middle East.

  1. Being one of the few countries where construction activities have continued even during the peak pandemic period, there is a steady demand for quality construction materials in the UAE. How do you think the nature of business will shift as we go through this recovery phase?

Although construction activities have been at the recent forefront of UAE’s economic activities, this cannot over-shadow the long ongoing efforts are taken by the government to diversify its economy. As a testament to this effort, I would like to quote a recent report released by the UAE’s Ministry of Economy stating, “the UAE’s non-oil exports achieving a growth of above 30 per cent compared to that of 2020 and above 47 per cent compared to that of 2019” this shows you the trajectory we are in. Diversification pays dividends in the long term.

In the current ever-changing market scenario, the UAE leadership and policymakers have consistently been able to evolve and have been able to introduce reforms, which have helped drive foreign investment into the country, and develop various non-oil sectors.

  1. In the current scenario, the ceramics market in UAE is dominated by imports, accounting for over 50% of the total supply from countries such as China, India, and Spain. There are only a few regional players in the industry in UAE. How advantageous would it be for Indian Ceramics industries if they expand to the UAE considering this situation?

The government’s ambition is to build UAE as the ‘Country of the Future’ – there will be numerous opportunities in infrastructure. Although, perhaps one may suggest that this is not reason enough; it definitely cannot be ignored as a solid nudge to companies that are present locally and are capable to deliver. They will have the advantage of both price and position.

This is not a stand-alone opportunity; the common theme all over the Middle East is growth and infrastructure development. Presence in the UAE allows easy access and favourable trade benefits to businesses manufacturing and operating in the UAE.

  1. What are the key benefits ceramic companies will enjoy if they join UAQ FTZ?

Establishing a manufacturing facility in the UAE is now crucial for companies that trade in or around the UAE to continue staying ahead of the competition. UAQ FTZ has proactively already earmarked industry-specific clusters located on express national highways with ready access to all basic utilities. Furthermore, we have a dedicated desk to handle all related enquiries and offer numerous other cost-effective solutions for warehousing, labour accommodation and offices.

 

  1. A key point that distinguishes UAQ FTZ is transparency, cost-effectiveness, and approachability. Tell us more about this unique strategy.

We firmly believe that our investors are also our partners and they too contribute to our growth. Our passion and motto as a government body is to promote transparency in our business processes and reduce the overall time it takes for a company, from the day of launch to production. We have consistently strived to ease doing business in the emirate and extended prompt and cost-effective subsidies when required. We have shown our willingness to extend additional support to our investors in the time of their need, as was evident during the pandemic.

  1. Why do you plan to exhibit at Indian Ceramics Asia? What are your goals, targets, and key offerings at the exhibition? Kindly give an overview of the set-up costs and land available.

Our participation at the Indian Ceramics Asia exhibition comes as a result of our focus to assist companies associated with ceramic and other affiliated products manufacturing industries in India. We offer a one-stop solution in regards to licensing, leasing long-term industrial land plots, ready-to-use storage warehouses, access to sea and airports, a fully capable logistics operations including import/export and customs regulations. Our prices are highly cost-effective and long-term land plots are available as low as INR 30/- per sq. ft.

 

  1. Lastly, what are your ambitions for the Free Zone moving forward? How will you leverage both the rich history of the organization with the growing needs of the region and entrepreneurs?

Our commitment remains to our investors, who are our partners. We did not stand still during the pandemic and we will not stop moving forward. To build anything meaningful you just need a plan, but to grow that plan, you need to move in action. We plan to continue listening to our partners; providing them with cost-effective infrastructure and an approachable and reliable support team. We aim to be at the forefront of helping businesses launch and flourish.


Mr.Johnson M. George
General Manager of UAQ Free Trade Zone Authority

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