The Economic Integration Committee held its first meeting of the year 2023 in the presence of H.E Dr. Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, Minister of State for Foreign Trade; representatives of local economic development departments in all emirates of the UAE; and representatives of the anti-money laundering and countering the financing of terrorism (AML/CFT) Executive Office.
The Committee reviewed its achievements and efforts in the year 2022, which include the development of the UAE’s legislative and investment environment in line with international best practices. The most notable among them is the strengthening of cooperation and communication between the relevant federal and local government entities to support the issuance of economic and commercial legislation and revamped policies in the country. Examples include the issuance of the Commercial Registry Law, the Family companies law, the Commercial Transactions Law, the Basic Food Commodity Identification Policy and the Policy to Strengthen Market Control.
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H.E. Al Zeyoudi said: “Thanks to the vision and directives of its wise leadership, the UAE today boasts a competitive and flexible economy and a well-developed legislative environment that has contributed to enhancing the country’s attractiveness to local and foreign investments. They support GDP growth and the expansion and prosperity of commercial activities, in line with the ‘We the UAE 2031’ vision that aims to strengthen the country’s position as a global partner and an attractive and influential economic hub, in line with the objectives of the 50.”
“The Economic Integration Committee played a prominent role in developing the country’s legislative system in 2022, and raised it to new levels of excellence, leadership, and competitiveness.” H.E. pointed out the importance of the efforts of the economic development departments and the local departments concerned with accelerating the effective and speedy development and implementation of various economic legislation, thereby contributing to the growth of diverse activities and business sectors in the UAE.
In 2023, the Committee contributed to strengthening the country’s efforts to develop policies and legislation to support AML/CFT efforts through continuous evaluation of the progress made in the operational plan for company registrars. It witnessed concerted national efforts to strengthen the system of ultimate beneficial owner (UBO) for private sector establishments; ensure compliance with the legislation, decisions, and regulations related to AML/CFT and financing of illegal organizations, in line with highest international standards and recommendations of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF).
The Committee stated that the country has made significant progress in this direction as 96 percent of all companies registered within the UAE, including those in non-financial free zones, are now in compliance with the UBO procedures.
Furthermore, the meeting discussed the efforts of the Ministry of Economy, in cooperation with the Ministry of Human Resource, Settlement, and Economic Development Department Services, to develop the national economic register and to ensure accurate and comprehensive data flow and standardization of registration frameworks at the local level.
Furthermore, the Committee was briefed on the achievements of the Ministry of Economy, in cooperation with its strategic partners, with regard to the NextGenFDI initiative, as the initiative has succeeded in attracting many international companies operating in advanced application sectors to the UAE. These include companies operating in financial technology, artificial intelligence, and digital payments that relocated to the UAE since the initiative’s launch last July. The initiative enhances the country’s attractiveness to foreign investments and provides a comprehensive set of measures to facilitate market entry, including expedited licensing and issuance of visas, golden residency, support for smooth and rapid transition of management and employees, and access to bank financing and commercial and residential rental incentives.
The Committee also reviewed the developments in the foreign investor’s compass project, a comprehensive national platform aimed at promoting the UAE’s investment environment and highlighting opportunities and vital areas for investment.