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SOURCE National Association of Foreign-Trade Zones
WASHINGTON, May 19, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Joining with free-trade zones and associations from around the world to promote trade, development, and the rule of law, the National Association of Foreign-Trade Zones participated today in launching the World Free Zones Organization at a public event in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
As the collective voice of the FTZ community in the United States, the NAFTZ is one of 14 founding members of World FZO, a new non-profit entity operating as an association for all free zones around the world. World FZO has been legally established in Geneva, Switzerland, and is headquartered in the thriving commercial hub of Dubai, UAE. Other founding members include free zone administrators and associations from Latin America, Europe, Africa, the Middle East, India, and China.
NAFTZ Chairwoman Janette Frantz of FTZ No. 43 in Battle Creek, Mich., hailed the NAFTZ's role in shaping the new international body. "The National Association of Foreign-Trade Zones is pleased to join with like-minded free zone advocates worldwide as a founding member of World FZO," said Frantz. "The more we know about trade programs in other nations, the better we can understand and meet the needs of U.S. firms engaged in international commerce. Having contributed to finalizing the guiding principles and to drafting by-laws for World FZO, we look forward to a productive future of collaboration with the World FZO as it provides global, knowledge-based leadership and promotes best practices and networking opportunities. These are values of the NAFTZ, and the World FZO now enhances those values to a global level for NAFTZ members."
NAFTZ Board of Directors member Kenneth Carlstedt represented the association at the Dubai event. Carlstedt, who is Global Trade Compliance Manager for Momentive Performance Materials in Albany, New York, will represent NAFTZ on the new World FZO board. Also attending was NAFTZ Secretary Julie Brown, who as President of Georgia FTZ Inc. represents FTZ No. 26 in Atlanta, Ga., on the World FZO board. Dr. Mohammed Alzarooni of the United Arab Emirates will serve as the group's first Chairperson. The other officers are Vice Chairperson Luis Pellarano of the Dominican Republic, Secretary P.C. Nambiar of India, and Treasurer Rose Hynes of Ireland.
NAFTZ President Daniel Griswold noted that an important part of the mission of World FZO will be to promote higher global standards in zone practices. "NAFTZ is eager to work with other zone professionals around the world to strengthen the rule of law, encourage compliance with trade rules, and establish global standards for best practices and governance in the monitoring of free zones," said Griswold. "With 80 years of experience in administering the U.S. FTZ program, we have much knowledge to share with our World FZO partners, as well as much we can learn from innovative practices abroad."
The World FZO announced that within the next year, Dubai will host the first of what are expected to be annual conventions, to include a conference, exhibition, and general assembly of members. The World FZO will also plan to partner with international multilateral organizations such as UN Agencies, the World Customs Organization, and the World Trade Organization to increase awareness of the economic advantages of free zones in fostering world trade, economic and social development, and foreign and domestic direct investment. Membership in World FZO is open to all United Nations member nations.
The National Association of Foreign-Trade Zones is a not-for-profit trade association of 650 members representing public and private organizations involved in the foreign-trade zones program, including state and local governments, economic development organizations, distribution and warehouse firms, corporations engaged in exporting and importing, and legal services and professional consulting firms. FTZs play an important role in facilitating international trade and increasing the global competitiveness of U.S.-based companies by maintaining the cost competitiveness of U.S.-based operations with their foreign-based competitors. Over 2,400 U.S. companies and 320,000 American workers participate in the FTZ economy. NAFTZ is the primary voice of communities and industries that utilize the FTZ program, including zone grantees, operators and users. See http://naftz.org for more information about NAFTZ and the World FZO.
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