El Consorci backs the creation of the european association of free trade zones
14 de March de 2018
El Consorci de la Zona Franca in Barcelona kicked off a series of meetings with European authorities in the sector today, to promote the creation of the first European Association of Free Trade Zones as a means of cooperating and representing the sector before international bodies.
As part of a strategy to promote associationism in the sector, the Special Delegate of the State in El Consorci, Jordi Cornet, welcomed a group of European free-zone representatives: Dragan Kostic and Aleksandar Simonovic (Serbia), Kiudulas Eimantas (president of the free zones of Lithuania), Sandra Ezmale (Latvia) Jolanta Novak (Poland), Ivan Patrushevsi (Macedonia) and Nika Manukova, European director of the WFZO, met to discuss their interest in forming the first European Association of Free Trade Zones, an initiative in which Russia, Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina have also expressed an interest.
The World Free Zones Organisation (WFZO) will soon decide which city will house the Mediterranean headquarters of the new organisation. El Consorci de la Zona Franca in Barcelona has submitted a bid with a view to starting on the preliminary work for the World Free Zones Congress to be organised in Barcelona in 2019.
Cornet says that housing the headquarters of the European Association of Free Trade Zones “would strengthen the city’s international projection and would recognise its importance as a logistical and economic development hub in Southern Europe”
Cornet stressed that Barcelona is a dynamic city with an excellent reputation as a congress destination, which “will boost associationism in the field of free zones as trade facilitators whose role in the global economy is not sufficiently appreciated and which must evolve to adapt to the challenges of the Industry 4.0”.
The World FZO Annual International Conference and Exhibition (AICE) will be held from 26 to 28 June next year at the Palau de Congresos de Catalunya. It is estimated that more than 1,000 free zone representatives from around the world will attend the event, which has been scheduled to coincide with the International Logistics and Maintenance Fair, SIL
According to sector data, there are some 3,500 zones in 106 countries, involved in the 25% of international trade. Of this total, around 55 zones are in Europe.
El Consorci de la Zona Franca in Barcelona was set up by the Spanish government, Barcelona City Council and the economic community of Catalan civil society in 1916 with a historic spirit of cooperation, and a mission to generate trade, logistical and economic activity. It manages the Industrial Estate of the Free Zone of Barcelona and Customs Area, and promotes industrial, logistical and urban areas, as well as trade fairs of interest to business, logistics and the real estate sector.