In April, Corrs sponsored the Australia Unlimited MENA 2014 event held in Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Riyadh.

The event, organised by the Australian Trade Commission, aims to create greater awareness of bilateral trade, investment and cultural ties between Australia and the Middle East North African region, and also increase understanding of Australia’s capability in trade, education, investment and tourism sectors. Corrs partners attended the event which provided an excellent platform for the firm to build relationships with Australian embassy staff, clients and other organisations operating in the region.

Corrs Middle East Team

The Corrs Middle East Country Focus Group recently met with a number of delegates in Sydney from the Jebel Ali Free Zone (JAFZA), one of the world’s largest Free Zones. Australian business operations through JAFZA are impressive, totalling around US200 million, 51 companies excluding joint ventures and 342 employees.

Free Zones are designated areas within a country where companies are able to take advantage of favorable tax rates, customs duties and other regulatory exemptions in order to encourage economic activity and attract foreign direct investment.

They are often used by business to provide a hub for the manufacture and distribution of goods into nearby countries or the provision of services. For this reason, Free Zones are usually located near ports and airports.

With more than 20 Free Zones operating in Dubai, the options available for Australian companies looking to operate within a business-friendly hub in the Middle East are considerable, especially with the tax and other concessions available in the Free Zones.

These include:

  • 0% corporate tax for 50 years
  • 0% personal income tax
  • 0% import or re-export duties
  • no currency restrictions
  • no restriction on the repatriation of profits to overseas parent companies
  • no restriction on foreign employees
  • onsite customs

Corrs is already doing a range of work for Middle Eastern-based clients in Australia, and is assisting Australian clients to establish and build their businesses in the fast-growing region. Corrs is experienced in working with foreign companies in the Middle East. A number of our lawyers have spent time working in the Gulf States and make regular trips to the region. For companies seeking to enter the Middle East, Corrs is available to introduce you to the right people.

The content of this publication is for reference purposes only. It is current at the date of publication. This content does not constitute legal advice and should not be relied upon as such. Legal advice about your specific circumstances should always be obtained before taking any action based on this publication.