Free Zones: Drivers of non-oil MENA growth

Regional Views
Free Zones: Drivers of non-oil MENA growth
  • Free zones are an essential part of the MENA region’s future development as it seeks investment and diversification in preparation for a post-oil era. New laws will widen options for incoming investors.
  • The wider MENA region handles over USD 500B worth of exports from its free zones, with the UAE accounting for more than 15% of that total, highlighting their financial importance to the region.
  • Beyond the UAE, the immediate growth opportunities are in Qatar, Lebanon, Egypt and Tunisia.

Florence Eid-Oakden, Ph.D, Chief Economist

Charlene Rahall, Analyst

The Regional Views series are thematic papers aimed at identifying and analysing factors behind medium to long-term economic trends shaping the region. Our analysis draws conclusions that help businesses and investors get ahead of the curve. As a firm staffed by Middle Easterners, we focus on insight rather than standard analysis.

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