Investment Consulting Associates and World FZO are working together to deliver a series of training seminars that will be rolled out globally within World FZO's network over 2016. The programmes have been developed over the last ten years to support the activities of executives working in the Free Zone sector. The overarching goal of these training seminars is to enhance and professionalise the services, expertise and capabilities of Free Zone staff.

The first such training seminar will take place in Dubai on May 8th 2016 preceding, but in conjunction with World FZO 2nd Annual International Conference & Exhibition 9 -11 May 2016 that is being held at the Grand Hyatt Dubai.

During this series of training seminars the presenters will cover real life cases, best and worst practices and demonstrate the use of different databases and business tools and techniques.

Attendees will be awarded with a Certificate of Achievement of the workshop.

The training seminars are free to World FZO members and US$ 250 for non-members but early registration is recommended as seats are limited.



Contact Mrs. Zoë van den Berghe at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or +31 615 499 998 for programme, registration and more general information or register directly at:



The programme for the inaugural seminar in Dubai is detailed below:


08:30 – 09:00 Coffee & Registration


09:00 – 09:15 Opening & Welcome

Dr. Samir Hamrouni, CEO World Free Zones Organization (World FZO)

Dr. Douglas van den Berghe, CEO Investment Consulting Associates (ICA)


09:15 – 10:30

Trends in FDI – when will we see a resurgence of FDI?

Over the last few years FDI levels have declined. When will FDI levels regain growth again and if so which markets will be the new pioneers in attracting new FDI projects?

Do companies still see FDI as the preferred market entry mode or are there other forms of global expansion?

What FDI opportunities exist across the globe for Free Zones?

Dr. Douglas van den Berghe, CEO Investment Consulting Associates (ICA) & Mr. Laurens van der Schoor, Free Zones & Incentives Advisor Investment Consulting Associates (ICA)


10:30 – 11:00 Coffee & Refreshment Break


11:00 – 12:30

Free Zone Strategies of the Future

“Traditional” Free Zone models such as Export Processing Zones and Free Trade Zones that emerged across the world in the 1960s and 1970s are increasingly challenged in the current global economic context. Their advantages, such as preferential market access, generous fiscal incentives and low-cost labour, are no longer sufficiently sustainable. Free Zones need to differentiate themselves to remain competitive. Recently, a shift to a “new generation” model of Free Zones is noticeable. This session addresses how Free Zones have evolved over time and which motivations have driven this shift to new Free Zone strategies in different regions of the world.

Mr. Laurens van der Schoor, Free Zones & Incentives Advisor, Investment Consulting Associates (ICA)


12:30 – 13:30 Lunch


13:30 – 14:30

Corporate Investment Location Decisions & the Role of Incentives: a

Corporate Perspective on Free Zones

The decision to invest in a particular Free Zone is based on a wide range of location determinants. How do companies make these investment decisions and how can Free Zones influence the location decision-making process?

Dr. Douglas van den Berghe, CEO Investment Consulting Associates (ICA) & Mr. Laurens van der Schoor, Free Zones & Incentives Advisor Investment Consulting Associates (ICA)


14:30 – 14:45 Coffee & Refreshment Break


14:45 – 15:30

Successful Marketing & Communication Strategies

What are the new marketing channels that Free Zone professionals have at their disposal to reach out to potential investors? How can you set up a detailed lead generation and investor targeting program to attract more investors and which results can you expect? Many potential investment projects fail due to poor communication between the investor and the local Free Zone officials. Despite cultural sensitivities there are also practical insights that can be helpful in professionalizing the communication between potential investors and free zones. What can we learn from recent case studies? How to

ensure a positive experience and which techniques can be used?

Dr. Douglas van den Berghe, CEO Investment Consulting Associates (ICA)


15:30 - 16:00 Awards & Certificates





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