SAIF Zone and FCCISL to ink an MOU to enhance investment and business
Offers all requisite licenses and permits within 24 hours
Firms allowed to hire 100% expatriate workers under economical wage structure
UAE Ambassador in Sri Lanka, Abdul Hamid A.K. Al Mulla, Business Development Manager Thomas Joseph, Sharjah Airport International Free Zone Director Saud Salim Mohamed Almazrouei, BOI Chairman Upul Jayasuriya, and Executive Director (Special Project) Vidharshan Fernando at the head table
By Charumini de Silva
Continuing with its path breaking strategies to woo a broader spectrum of investors, the Sharjah Airport International Free Zone (SAIF Zone) yesterday extended an invitation to top Sri Lankan industries and businessmen to set up ventures at the SAIF Zone to expand their trade globally.
The SAIF Zone held the first International Business Forum titled ‘Expand Business Globally’ in Colombo yesterday in collaboration with the Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry of Sri Lanka (FCCISL) and the Board of Investment of Sri Lanka (BOI) alongside the official coordinating partner Eagle Eye International.
SAIF Zone and Hamriya Free Zone Director Saud Salim Mohamed Salim Almazrouei said the zone has been offering excellent integrated business solutions to the global business community leading to the formation of new partnerships, multi-million dollar investments and expansion plans.
He stated that it is the first international airport free zone to offer competitive incentives and unique investment opportunities to establish businesses in a tax-free environment with full company ownership.
“Our role in Sri Lanka is to collaborate with the FCCISL to enhance mutual cooperation in the sectors of investment and business,” Almazrouei added.
The SAIF Zone will ink a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with FCCISL on 1 September at the second conference scheduled to be held in Kandy.
Briefing investors on the overall outlook SAIF Zone Business Development Manager Thomas Joseph asserted that it had been one of the largest growing trade zones in the world, with three well-connected sea ports and air networks for firms at the SAIF Zone to perform global business.
“The concept of a free zone had been very successful to boost the economy, to improve foreign direct investments (FDIs), economy, business opportunities and trade,” he said commending the vision of the leaders.
Joseph said that firms operating at the SAIF Zone are entitled to 100% foreign ownership and repatriation of funds with no currency restrictions, exemption from corporate and personal income taxes and tax exemption for all imports and exports.
With minimum procedural hazards, SAIF Zone offers a single window solution to all investor requirements, where it provides all requisite licenses and permits within 24 hours of submitting the required documents. The firms are also allowed to hire 100% expatriate workers under economical wage structures.
In addition the licensing option is offered with maximum business freedom to the investor in the areas of trade, commercial, general trading, service and industrial. A company incorporated in the SAIF Zone could be registered under three categories: Free Zone Establishment (FZE), Free Zone Company (FZC) and Branch of a Company (registered in the UAE or incorporated outside the UAE).
He pointed out that setting up manufacturing facilities would help re-export goods to Bahrain, Oman and other countries which are part of the Gulf Cooperation Council. They could be exported to the Middle East and North Africa. This was apart from exposure to two billion customers in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
Since starting its operations two decades ago Joseph asserted over 7,225 companies from 150 countries are currently operating from the SAIF Zone. Facilitates for manufacturing, assembling, packaging, import, re-export, trade and value added activities are catered for at the Zone.
“We are confident that by delivering such innovative assistance for businesses in the SAIF Zone, the investors will stand to gain from the multiple benefits these services provide to become global business leaders,” Joseph added.
Pic by Upul Abayasekara