Free Magazine Subscription
Ministry of Foreign Trade – UAE
Ministry of Foreign Trade Promoting Trade Liberalisation
The UAE Ministry of Foreign Trade aims to strengthen the UAE’s ties with its trade partners, help the UAE enter new markets, and attract more FDI. The UAE has already positioned itself as a leading global trade centre. Abdullah Ahmed Al Saleh, Undersecretary to the Minister, explains, “The UAE is ranked the fourth largest re-export hub in the world. If you look at the size of the UAE in terms of population and geography, it is small, but if you look at the UAE’s trade activities, in 2010 we were 19th in the world in terms of commodity exports, according to the World Trade Organisation.”
As part of its mission, the Ministry of Foreign Trade is driving forward the UAE’s free trade negotiations with different countries. The UAE already has a customs union with the GCC block and has signed bilateral trade agreements with other countries and trade blocks. Through the GCC umbrella, the UAE now has free trade agreements with EFTA and Singapore. “The UAE believes in an open economy, trade liberalisation and trade facilitation,” the Undersecretary points out.
Free-trade agreements add to investment appeal
The UAE’s open approach to foreign trade is drawing more FDI, and to keep investment flowing in, the UAE has upgraded the UAE’s business climate and regulatory environment. Abdullah Ahmed Al Saleh says, “Once you are committed to trade agreements with other countries, you have to update your standards of regulations. This is one of the main targets of this ministry. We look at free trade agreements as a vehicle for improving the UAE economy.”
The Ministry of Foreign Trade is making international investors more aware of the UAE’s attractions as an investment target. Abdullah Ahmed Al Saleh cites the UAE’s business friendly environment, international outlook, state-of-the-art infrastructure, high quality of life, strategic location and proven stability.
A key goal for the Ministry of Foreign Trade is to conclude a free-trade agreement with the EU. Abdullah Ahmed Al Saleh says, “There are only one or two issues pending. I am very positive about the future of this negotiation, and both parties will benefit. The EU is the 2nd largest trade partner for the UAE, and will remain very important for us.” He concludes, “I invite EU investors to take a close look at the UAE, not just Abu Dhabi and Dubai but all the emirates.”