The National Association of Foreign-Trade Zones (NAFTZ) announced its joining of the official launch of the World Free Zones Organization (World FZO) on 19 May 2014. The World FZO, legally established in Geneva, Switzerland and headquartered in Dubai, UAE, is the newest international body to advocate free zones worldwide. Dubai is expected to begin holding annual World FZO conventions in 2015.

NAFTZ reports that other founding members include free zone administrators and associations from Latin America, Europe, Africa, the Middle East, India and China. Membership in the World FZO is currently open to all United Nations member nations.

The World FZO aims to partner with other trade organizations such as the World Customs Organization and the World Trade Organization to promote the advantages of free zones. “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,” states NAFTZ Chairwoman Janette Frantz.

President Daniel Griswold also spoke of NAFTZ’s role in the World FZO stating, “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. 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.”