Abu Dhabi, 1 March 2023:
The Economic Integration Committee held its second meeting for the year 2023, chaired by H.E. Abdullah bin Touq Al Marri, Minister of Economy. The meeting was attended by Dr. Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, Minister of State for Foreign Trade, and representatives of local economic development departments from all emirates of the country.
During the meeting, H.E. Bin Touq emphasized that the Committee will continue to support the country’s efforts in building a sustainable knowledge-based economic model that is more flexible and open to the world. It further supports the modernization of existing legislation and adoption of innovative initiatives that enhance the national business environment and global competitiveness of the UAE economy. Thus, these efforts contribute to solidifying the UAE’s position as a sustainable destination for investments and businesses that support a creative economy.
The meeting discussed a number of key topics that underpin further integration and cooperation among all stakeholders at the federal and local levels. Apart from the recent updates to the national plan for combating money laundering and the financing of terrorism (AML/CFT), the development of the national plan on collaboration with cluster economies, and the draft trade law based on modern technology were also discussed. The Committee then reviewed the efforts of the concerned entities in linking commercial activities with the economic register.
H.E. Bin Touq said: “The record growth achieved by the national economy and the unprecedented levels of non-oil foreign trade growth in 2022 encourage us to intensify our joint efforts to further elevate the country’s economic growth trajectory in 2023. We strive to achieve this goal by further developing the economic legislative environment in line with international best practices, as well as continuing the regulations bylaws relevant to some economic legislation.”
Moreover, H.E. highlighted that Abu Dhabi will host the second edition of the global Investopia conference on the 2nd and 3rd of March 2023, under the theme ‘Exploring Opportunities in an Era of Change.’ It will be organized in cooperation with the Department of Economic Development – Abu Dhabi and will witness the participation of more than 2,000 attendees from inside and outside the country. The Minister of Economy underlined the role of Investopia in supporting the UAE’s transition to a new economic model based on technology and innovation.
The Committee further reviewed the latest developments in the country’s mutual evaluation file regarding the fifth outcome of the AML/CFT National Strategic Plan; those related to preventing the misuse of legal persons and legal arrangements for money laundering and terrorism financing crimes; and submission of real beneficiary information. Progress made in the implementation of the AML/CFT national strategic plan was reviewed as well. The challenges with regard to the implementation of the plan, especially those related to assessing the risks of legal persons and legal arrangements were also looked at, in addition to the issuance of deterrent and appropriate penalties, taking risks into account.
H.E. Bin Touq explained that the Ministry of Economy will continue to play its role as a supervisory authority in the implementation of a stronger AML/CFT regime, in a way that enhances the UAE’s position on global development and competitive indicators. He further praised the efforts of the Ministry’s work teams and the economic development departments in achieving the goals of the AML/CFT national plan in line with the requirements of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF).
The development of the national strategy on cooperation with economic clusters, which aims to develop an integrated economic strategy for all emirates, was yet another topic on the meeting’s agenda. The strategy focuses on the production and marketing aspects in the formation of an effective economic bloc capable of competing locally and globally.
H.E. said: “Through this strategy, we aim to create new economic clusters in the country in various sectors and develop them, to support the flexibility of the UAE economy. It will make our economy more resilient in the face of global economic shifts in the next two years.”
Meanwhile, H.E. Dr. Al Zeyoudi praised the efforts of the concerned work teams in the expansion of the UAE’s comprehensive economic partnership agreements (CEPA) network. The UAE has signed three CEPAs so far – with India, Israel and Indonesia. H.E. also highlighted the importance of intensifying negotiation efforts to establish more such partnerships this year.
The Committee meeting also addressed the latest developments in the draft trade law to regulate businesses based on modern technology. The law aims to regulate businesses operating in areas related to e-commerce and sectors of the new economy. It is expected to contribute to supporting the strategic goals of the country with regard to digital transformation and the development of digital commerce.