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FOREIGN INVESTMENT: United Arab Emirates to Attract South African Investments


Recent Gauteng Business News

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) and in particular Ras Al Khaimah is keenly eyeing South African investments from South African companies in 2012. The scope of the relationship between the two countries warrants the high-level delegation from Ras Al Khaimah that is arriving in South Africa in early February. The delegation is meeting with the top management of South African MNC’s and SME’s to discuss investment possibilities in the Emirate. Under the guidance of H.H. Sheikh Saud Bin Saqr Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Ras Al Khaimah (RAK), the Emirate has achieved remarkable success in its development initiatives, helping establish one of the Middle East’s most dynamic and fastest-growing economies.

Business expansion may seem counter-intuitive in the middle of a recession, and yet it provides a unique opportunity for progressive companies to get a jump ahead of their competitors while they hunker down to weather the economic storm.

Healthy economic and trade ties underpin the strong relationship between South Africa and the UAE. The fact that these ties are growing exponentially is attributed primarily to the support such activities receive from the authorities in the two countries and secondly to the fact that both the UAE and South Africa are trade and distribution hubs for their respective regions. South Africa remains the UAE's key business and investment partner, with total bilateral trade reaching almost $2 billion, additionally South Africa is among the Top 20 investors in the country.

Why the UAE Will Attract South African Investments

The various attractions of UAE as a destination for foreign investment are undeniable. The key draw to the UAE economy is the fact that there is no corporate/income tax and 100% foreign ownership in the free zones. The UAE also offers additional benefits such as no restriction on capital repatriation and lower costs of doing business. All this is collectively offered in a highly developed and well connected country.

The delegation will be lead by Dr. Khater Massad, the CEO of Ras Al Khaimah Investment Authority (RAKIA), a leading free zone in RAK, UAE. They will present their strategies and market outlook and share views on the macroeconomic picture for Middle Eastern opportunities at events hosted by RAKIA and organised by Dun and Bradstreet. The events will be held in Johannesburg at The Montecasino Palazzo and Cape Town at The One and Only on the 7th and the 8th of February respectively. This is the perfect platform for CEOs and Directors to learn more about the advantages of setting up manufacturing facilities or offices in UAE and Ras Al Khaimah. Registrations are open until 31st Jan 2012 at

South African Investments and the RAK Investment Authority (RAKIA)

As a means of reaching the government’s goals of sustainable social and economic development, the Ras Al Khaimah Investment Authority (RAKIA) was established in 2005. In diversifying the emirate's economy and ultimately establishing it as a regional hub for industrial manufacturing, trade and commerce RAKIA has chieved tremendous success, helping register significant growth in GDP. RAKIA’s business registry includes more than 10 000 companies (including on-shore and off shore companies) involved in sectors ranging from manufacturing and trading to services.

“When RAKIA was founded six years ago, it was our mission to raise Ras Al Khaimah’s business and investment profile. By tenaciously promoting and cultivating the potential of local industries, we were eventually able to draw in major global players such as Ashok Leyland, Dabur India, Becker Industries, Guardian Industries, Arc International, Duscholux, Beaufort International, Becker Paints, Kludi RAK, JBF RAK, Franke etc to name a few,” says Dr. Khater Massaad, CEO of RAKIA.

RAKIA serves as a one-stop-shop for investors, providing a complete range of investment services and value-added offerings including processing of licenses for industrial, commercial, trading, consulting/services and media-related businesses; employment, residence and visit visas; design approvals; and various types of permits. It also intervenes in the negotiation of land of different sizes and rates for important strategic projects and offers a wide range of ready-to-occupy warehouses.

Key products and services offered by RAKIA include:
• Business Licenses
• Land for industrial activities
• Warehouses/Light Industrial Units
• Business towers/office space
• Labour accommodations
• Executive Residences
• Commercial Centre
• Visa Processing Services

Renowned for having one of the best regulatory environments in the region, RAKIA offers a highly attractive economic package to foreign investors, and RAK’s excellent infrastructure and logistic support, competitive energy cost, easy access to GCC countries, zero corruption and minimum bureaucracy, stable government and investor-friendly policies have added to the emirate’s global appeal. With many South African investments in the UAE and many SA companies having already set up their base in Ras Al Khaimah and UAE are benefitting from these factors and many more continue to explore the enormous potential offered by Ras Al Khaimah.


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