• Al Zarooni: “For the past six decades, UNCTAD has been committed to shaping the global economic landscape"

Dubai, UAE: His Excellency Dr. Mohammed Al Zarooni, Chairman of the World Free Zones Organization, met with several ministers, leaders, and CEOs during his participation in the Business Leaders Forum.

The forum was held on the sidelines of the event celebrating the 60th anniversary of the founding of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) from June 12-14 in Geneva.

Dr. Al Zarooni attended the event at the invitation of Rebeca Grynspan, Secretary-General of UNCTAD. His Excellency participated in a high-level meeting co-chaired by John Denton, Secretary-General of the International Chamber of Commerce and Rebeca Grynspan, which included an elite group of heads of state and CEOs of global multinational enterprises. Additionally, Dr. Al Zarooni held bilateral meetings with several ministers and CEOs of international companies.

On the sidelines of the conference, Al Zarooni participated in a panel titled “Reshaping Foreign Direct Investment and Global Value Chains for Development." The panel included ministers from Azerbaijan, Tunisia, and Portugal, namely Her Excellency Kalthoum Ben Rejeb, Tunisian Minister of Trade and Export Development; His Excellency Sahib Mammadov, Deputy Minister of Economy of Azerbaijan; Nuno Sampaio, Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs and Cooperation of Portugal; and Tatiana Molcean, Executive Secretary of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (ECE). The discussion highlighted the challenges and opportunities of special economic zones in transforming global value chains and their role in promoting sustainable development in this new era.

His Excellency underscored UNCTAD's pivotal role in supporting special economic zones to navigate potential challenges and leverage rewarding opportunities. He highlighted that collaborating with the World Free Zones Organization enables UNCTAD to harness expertise, knowledge, and a broad network of relationships, thereby expanding support to more special economic zones. This partnership aims to develop joint strategies for launching and implementing initiatives that address economic challenges, stay abreast of emerging trends, and foster sustainable global economic development.

On the occasion of the 60th anniversary of founding UNCTAD, Al Zarooni emphasized the organization's significant influence over the past six decades in shaping the global economic landscape. His Excellency expressed the World Free Zones Organization's commitment to actively participating in the Global Alliance for Special Economic Zones (GASEZ), aimed at fostering economic growth and development across over 7,000 regions worldwide.

Al Zarooni emphasized that UNCTAD's long-standing legacy serves as an inspiration to navigate future challenges with renewed commitment, aiming to build a more inclusive and equitable global economy for future generations.

The event drew attendance from António Guterres, United Nations Secretary-General, representatives from over 120 countries, including world leaders, ministers, civil society organizations, and private sector leaders, along with key economists. Spanning three days, the panels tackled pivotal themes such as industrial policy for trade and development, readiness for future economies, strategies amidst ongoing crises, reshaping the landscape of foreign direct investment, and defining the features of the digital future and AI. These discussions addressed the obstacles hindering the creation of a sustainable and inclusive global economy for all.