LAHORE: The Ajman Free Zone on Wednesday officially announced the commencement of its operations in Lahore with an aim to facilitate the business community of the country. In a graceful ceremony held at a local hotel in the presence of leading businessmen of the country, the AFZ delegation, led by Director General Mahmood Khalil Al-Hashemi, presented the audience with an overview of the facilities and services offered by the free zone. Talking exclusively with Daily Times, Ajman Free Zone Director General Mahmood Khalil Al-Hashemi said he came to Pakistan with a view to facilitate the business community as well as the young and aspiring entrepreneurs of the country. “With the amount of potential Pakistani entrepreneurs’ posses, I am confident that friendly policies of Ajman Free Zone would be utilized in an effective way,” he added. Ajman – part of the seven emirates that form UAE – is one of the fastest developing emirates in the commercial, business and trading sectors. Ajman Free Zone is a potential trading hub connecting regional markets across the globe. The zone has easy accessibility to all the major airports and seaports. “The free zone offers an array of options for businessmen to choose from. They can either opt for smart offices, executive offices and warehouses with ample storage facility. Even land is available on lease to set up their factory,” Hashemi said, while highlighting the features of Ajman Free Zone. The director general finds Pakistanis as dedicated and hardworking people, which is why almost 18 percent of businesses in Ajman Free Zone are owned by Pakistanis. “UAE and Pakistan share a unique bond that is beyond political ties. The bilateral trade between both the countries rose to $15 billion in 2015, which not only reflects the level of trust and comfort among the two countries, but also shows the potential the two countries possess in enhancing the trade volume,” he mentioned. Entrepreneurs can start a business in AFZ with an amount as small as $555, the DG said. “They can submit security cheques for next 11 months and we will facilitate them to the maximum.” The Ajman Free Zone, established in 1988, offers 100 percent ownership for foreign investors, tax-free environment, 100 percent repatriation of capital and profits, UAE residence visa, flexible payment options, 100 percent exemption on import and export duties, flexible to operate 24/7, low freight charges, no currency restrictions, freehold offices on sale or lease, readymade offices, factories and warehouses, inexpensive workforce and easy recruitment procedures. Emirates Express, one of the leading corporate business consultants in Ajman, is the sole authorized representative of AFZ. Emirates Express HR and Admin Manager Makhdoom Asim Ali said assisting in the company registration formalities through one window operation is the key to maintaining a personal rapport with all our customers. “We also provide comprehensive and customized professional service solutions to entrepreneurs who are keen to set up their offices in the UAE. From new company formation to effective event management, we do all that can facilitate the customers,” he added while talking to Daily Times. Ajman Free Zone started its operations in Pakistan exactly a year ago (December 15, 2015) in Karachi and seeks further expansion in the country. After entering into the diversified market of Lahore, AFZ plans to establish offices in Islamabad in the near future.