The birthplace of duty free zones, Shannon Airport, has today scored another remarkable first as its Chairperson Rose Hynes was named as one of the founding board members of the World Free Zones Organisation at its launch in Dubai.
Ms Hynes also takes a key role in the new organisation as its founding Treasurer.
The inaugural board gathered today at the Jumeirah Emirates Tower Hotel in Dubai for the launch of the influential new body by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai. Shannon is one of only two European free zones on the inaugural board, along with Barcelona.
Speaking from Dubai, Ms Hynes said that the launch was another prestigious moment and one that offers great opportunity and promise for the Shannon Free Zone. “The Shannon Free Zone, as the first free zone in the world, has been replicated as a concept the world over in the 55 years since it was founded. It is an honour to be a member of the founding board of the World Free Zones Organisation and this shows how much Shannon continues to resonate at the highest level internationally.
“We are in great company as this organisation brings leading Free Zone expertise together from around the world. It will promote an exchange of ideas and business connections and will facilitate trade. Undoubtedly Shannon and Ireland will benefit from that. Being a member of the founding board positions Shannon excellently to take advantage of what is a unique networking opportunity at a very high level.”
Free Zones, of which Shannon was the world’s first in 1959, are areas with special incentives or attractions for new industries, especially export-oriented industries. The World Free Zones Organization (World FZO) is a new non-profit entity bringing together free zones and Special Economic Zones around the world to offer global leadership on the subject of free zones, provide a range of services for its members, and increase awareness of the role of free zones in economic and social development and foreign direct investment.
World FZO, which is open to all member nations of the United Nations, comprises representatives of established free zones as well as local, regional and international free zone associations from across the world. The official office holders on the board of directors, which were announced during the press conference, include Dr. Mohammed Alzarooni (UAE) as Chairperson, Mr. Luis Pellerano (Dominican Republic) as Vice Chairperson, Mr. P.C. Nambiar (India) as Secretary and Ms. Hynes as Treasurer.
During the launch, Chairperson Dr. Mohammed Alzarooni said: “The World Free Zones Organization, which we are excited to be launching today, will promote a spirit of collaboration, dialogue and guidance. It will provide help to nations that can benefit from the free zone model and whose economies require foreign direct investment in order to build strong, robust and diverse economies for the future.
“The creation of such an organization would not be possible without the inspired leadership and vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum. It is his vision that led us to establish the first ever multilateral organization grown out of Dubai.”