Abu Dhabi, 23 September 2022:
The Economic Integration Committee held its seventh meeting for the year 2022, chaired by H.E Abdulla Bin Touq Al Marri, Minister of Economy, and attended by committee member H.E. Dr. Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, Minister of State for Foreign Trade, and representatives of local economic development departments from all emirates.
The meeting discussed a number of topics that contribute to enhancing collaboration and coordination mechanisms at the federal and local levels in the upcoming period to further drive national economic growth. The discussions focused on key topics such as showcasing the role of the negotiation team in the comprehensive economic partnerships (CEPA) program; latest developments in the proposed economic laws; formation of a national team to study the impacts of implementing the company profit tax on federal fees. In addition, the meeting also reviewed the progress made by the federal and local entities in developing the country’s anti-money laundering and countering the financing of terrorism (AML/CFT) system.
H.E. Bin Touq emphasized that the Committee is continuing its efforts to review and follow up on the economic legislation and policies in the country, and propose more recommendations and decisions supporting the strength and sustainability of the national economy, in line with the vision and directives of the wise leadership and the goals and principles of the 50. This will contribute to maintaining an attractive investment environment and adopting swift and proactive solutions to address all challenges that the country’s business and trade sector may face in the future, thus consolidating the UAE’s position as an attractive and competitive economic destination regionally and globally.
Moreover, the Committee discussed the important role of the negotiation team and its efforts in the implementation of the CEPA program, and the integration of national efforts of the government and federal entities in achieving the program’s goals in line with the wise leadership’s directives and vision. The Committee also reviewed what has been achieved so far under the program, including the establishment and signing of CEPAs with India, Israel, and Indonesia. It also reviewed the future plans for expanding partnerships, which contribute to the development of non-oil trade, creation of new opportunities for the UAE’s exports, attracting foreign investments into the country, and growing the UAE’s investments abroad.
The latest updates in the development of a number of new economic laws in the upcoming period were also discussed during the meeting, in addition to the collaboration among relevant entities in the formulation of these laws. It has considerably enhanced the competitiveness of the economic atmosphere and attractiveness of the business environment in the country, accelerating the economy’s transition to a flexible and sustainable model.
Additionally, the Committee explored the possibility of linking the issuance of free zone licenses with the economic development departments’ system, in order to facilitate collaboration and exchange of expertise and knowledge among the free zone authorities and the economic development departments in the country. This will contribute to creating an integrated database for the operations of these free zones, and help provide more opportunities and enablers for investors and entrepreneurs to establish their businesses in accordance with international best practices.
The Committee also reviewed the updates to the development of the country’s AML/CFT system since it is one of the key factors that consolidate the reputation of the national economy regionally and globally. These included a review of the workflow of the operational plan for company registrars, for which, federal and local entities are collaborating to enhance the ultimate beneficial owner (UBO) system of the private sector establishments. This will help create a unified national database for this system, ensuring the accuracy and quality of the information on all the companies operating in the UAE, unifying the procedures of economic licenses for investors and businessmen in the country, and achieving the highest compliance with the AML/CFT measures that are currently in place.
Besides, the Committee emphasized its continuing efforts to raise the awareness of individuals working in e-commerce space on the importance of licensing their activities with the proper authorities and committing to tax compliance as per the existing legislation in the country.