The World Association of Free Zones (WFZO) was established in May 2014 with the support of the Barcelona Free Zone. The aim of the organization is to represent their interests in international forums, and to transmit the benefits of free zones for the economy and trade, social development and international investment.
The World Association of Free Zones (WFZO), a non-profit organization, is based in Geneva and has its operational management in Dubai. The steering committee is comprised of 15 representatives from different Free Zones, including the Barcelona Free Zone which, for the time being, is the only Spanish free zone present in the management of the association and the first from the European mainland.
The WFZO aims to represent their interests in international forums, contribute knowledge about free zones, establish partnerships, and promote the advantages of free zones for the economy and trade, social development, and international investment.
In this sense, the Zona Franca Consortium is conducting an active policy of establishing partnership links with other free zones such as the Tangier Free Zone or the FZ of El Paso, the former located strategically for trade between Europe and Africa and the latter in an important enclave on the border between the US and Mexico.
The association, which so far has 103 associate members in 30 countries worldwide, is open to the free zones of member countries of the United Nations to integrate in this association, in order to emphasise the leading role of free zones in international trade, and also to establish an organisation that can provide services to its members, such as technical training, reports, studies and statistics on topics of their specialty. The WFZO expects to be a spokesperson for organisations such as the World Trade Organization, the World Customs Organization, and UN Agencies, whereby it is also open to free zone organizations, individual free zones, and individual companies working in the area of free zones from any field (whether academic, as consultancies, private corporations, government agencies) to integrate into the association.
The president of the World Organization of Free Zones, Mohammed Alzarooni, held an official trip to Barcelona, giving a talk at the Zona Franca Consortium and in the activities of the Barcelona Logistics Centre (BCL).
In his speech, the president of the WFZO referred to the importance of free zones in the global economy and explained that in the world there are about 3,500 free zones representing some 60 million jobs, approximately equivalent to 3% of the global workforce, hence the importance of the creation of the WFZO and the role it must play before international authorities and organisations related to world trade.
Source and photo: BCL