Pakistani businesses can avail host of benefits in RAK
Pakistani businesses that are looking to launch their businesses in the UAE and expand to the rest of the region can avail a host of benefits if they decide to set up a base in Ras Al Khaimah, experts said at a webinar on Thursday.
Conducted by Ras Al Khaimah Economic Zone (RAKEZ), the webinar brought together several officials who highlighted investment opportunities in Pakistan, as well as business incentives and growth opportunities in the UAE.
Ahmed Amjad Ali, consul general, Consulate General of Pakistan, noted that he was excited to highlight the growth opportunities in both countries and looked forward to greater collaboration when it came to trade and investment.
"There are several areas where we can see a collaboration happening, and we are already in talks about it," he said. "We are talking with RAKEZ about opening a university campus and hosting several more webinars in the near future. This is just the first of many."
Raja Hassanien Javed, general manager, Outreach, Small & Medium Enterprises Department Authority, highlighted the role that SMEs are playing in Pakistan's economy.
"The majority of SMEs in Pakistan are located in the Punjab province and they specialise in a number of different fields," he said. "Right now, potential sectors for investment in the country include textiles, leather products, surgical instruments, food, gems and jewellery, logistics, ICT, fisheries, and tourism. One of the biggest opportunities for any investor at present lies in Pakistan's dairy and textile industry. Both are sectors that employ a significant portion of the population."
Ramy Jallad, group CEO of RAKEZ, noted that there are endless possibilities when one looks at trade between Pakistan and the UAE, and that there is lots of potential in Pakistan's export sector
"It is a win-win situation for both sides when it comes to investment," he said. "Lots of Pakistani companies use RAKEZ to do business in the UAE and in the region. SMEs, in particular, thrive with the transparent policies and business packages we offer."
RAKEZ's plan right now, he said, is to become a hub for both local and regional companies. "We have a marketplace of over 15,000 companies where they can interact with each other and collaborate on opportunities. Our business proposition is centered around the ease of doing business and cost effectiveness; compared to various other emirates in the UAE, the cost of doing business in Ras Al Khaimah is significantly lower."
Joyce Choukri, sales manager, Europe, RAKEZ, pointed out that the population in the Middle East region is increasing, which means access to a growing number of consumers for businesses. Ras Al Khaimah, she said, is blessed with a good network of ports, warehouses, commercial offices, and airport that is vital to a good business ecosystem.
"RAKEZ is a proven international business hub," she said. "We have several business packages that can help people interested in launching their business or setting up a base of operations. These packages are specially catered to their needs. Currently, 874 Pakistani companies are registered with RAKEZ, and 94 per cent of these companies are SMEs. When it comes to licenses that are issued, the majority of Pakistani companies at RAKEZ were issued a commercial license. This was followed by a service license."