The Telegraph
Tuesday , July 15 , 2014
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Emirate showcases advantages

Probir Chakraborty in Calcutta on Monday. Picture by Kishor Roy Chowdhury

Calcutta, July 14: Ras al-Khaimah, one of the seven emirates comprising the UAE, is keen to attract foreign direct investment. It intends to cash in on its cost competitiveness vis--vis the other emirates and a strategic location to attract new businesses.

The benefits of the Etihad rail network, expected to be in place by 2018, and scheduled to connect the seven emirates are being highlighted by the Ras al-Khaimah Investment Authority (RAKIA) to draw companies into sectors such as building materials, metals, chemicals and plastics.

The estimated automotive market in the area is around 1.7 million units with 1.35 million vehicles registered in 2012. Demand for concrete could reach $49 billion within the Gulf region by 2014. The projected compounded growth rate of plastics is 12 per cent in West Asia. About $4.3 trillion is to be spent on construction in the MENA (Middle East and North Africa) region till 2020.

Located at a vantage entry point of the Gulf and surrounded by three ports—the Saqr port, the Hamriyah port and the Jebel Ali port—the emirate’s business and industrial parks have provisions for free and non-free business zones. RAKIA is a government entity and the investment and business promotion arm of the government of Ras al-Khaimah.

“RAK had a GDP (gross domestic product) of $4.5 billion in 2009, which grew to $6.55 billion in 2012. Manufacturing comprises 24.9 per cent of its GDP. Surrounded by West Asia and Africa, this offers a huge market,” said Probir Chakraborty, chief operating officer, RAKIA.