UAE - DMCC, a key flagship free zone in Dubai, has signed an agreement with Dakia U Ventures (UVentures), to co-develop a trade hub and free zone at Cartagena de Indias in Colombia.

As per the MoU, the Cartagena International Commerce Zone will be developed and operated in direct collaboration with federal and national government entities of Colombia.

UVentures is an international investment holding company specialised in designing, financing, developing, and operating international macro-scale projects.

The free-trade designated territory will be a common law district based on English common law, which will create an international business platform with unique benefits such as balanced arbitration facilities, incorporated country risk insurance, global trade networks, and access to capital.

Once established, the Cartagena International Commerce Zone will become Latin America’s first Common Law District Arbitration Centre.

As per the deal, DMCC and the Cartagena International Commerce Zone aim to offer their member companies passporting rights between the two free zones, which will enhance bilateral trade opportunities and provide greater access to global markets.

The project was officially announced by the President of the Senate of Colombia, Juan Diego Gomez Jimenez, at the FORO#23 forum held in Miami, US, in the presence of the Colombian Vice-Ministers of Commerce, Tourism, Justice and Law; the mayor of Cartagena; Ahmed bin Sulayem, Executive Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, DMCC; and representatives from UVentures.

On the partnership, DMCC Executive Chairman and CEO Ahmed Bin Sulayem said: "This will shape the future of trade by creating a new virtual and physical trading corridor between Colombia and Dubai, while supporting the national strategic objectives of Colombia and unlocking its enormous growth opportunities."

"DMCC’s regulatory trade environment and free zone model shaped over 20 years is the blueprint for global market connectivity and growth. This blueprint will be instrumental as we partner to develop a new world leading free zone that drives FDI between two extremely dynamic markets, while providing transformational trade opportunities for the broader Central and South Americas through Dubai," he added.

UVentures CEo Xavier Adserà said: "We are thrilled to embark on this endeavour with DMCC, the Colombia Sovereign Authorities, and our ecosystem of institutional partners. This remarkable project has all the elements to be a worldwide success, posing a historical opportunity for the country to expand its international presence, and for Latin America to develop a leading financial & commercial hub referent amongst global capital markets."

According to him, the Cartagena International Commerce Zone will be modelled on DMCC, which is the world’s leading and fastest growing free zone.

As a result of this project, Colombia is expected to significantly improve its standard credit ratings and attract foreign direct investments, creating business opportunities at a national and international level, he added.

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