Committee highlights UAE’s file on mutual evaluation with FATF - GulfToday

Committee highlights UAE’s file on mutual evaluation with FATF


A general view of Dubai Downtown showing world’s tallest building Burj Al Khalifa, in Dubai. Reuters/ File

Gulf Today, Staff Reporter

The Economic Integration Committee held its fifth meeting for the year 2023, chaired by Abdulla Bin Touq Al Marri, Minister of Economy, and with the participation of  Dr Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, Minister of State for Foreign Trade, and representatives of local economic development departments in all emirates.

The latest meeting discussed several key economic topics at the federal and local levels, most notably the developments in the intellectual property ecosystem and the promotion of innovation. It also reviewed the progress in policies and practices on anti-money laundering as part of the completion of the UAE’s mutual evaluation with the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), and the guide for administrative sanctions on the Commercial Registry Law.

Bin Touq said: “Thanks to the forward-looking vision of our wise leadership, the UAE has established itself as a leading global financial hub that offers all enablers for success for the business sector, investors, and start-ups from around the world. This was made possible by a resilient economic legislative ecosystem; a competitive, attractive, and stable business environment; and the further development of infrastructure to be among the best globally. In addition, the incentives and benefits offered by the UAE market, and the unique location of the country at the heart of global trade are also contributing factors.”

He affirmed that the Economic Integration Committee is continually working to facilitate the implementation of the country’s integrated economic development goals. It conducts consultation and discussions at the national level and strives to integrate federal and local efforts to devise the best solutions and develop thoughtful initiatives aimed at promoting sustainable growth of the national economy. These efforts are accelerating the UAE’s transition towards new and future sectors, in the light of the objectives of ‘We the UAE 2031’ vision aimed at establishing the country as a hub for new economy.

Furthermore, the meeting discussed developments in the country’s intellectual property support and protection system, and the important role played by economic development departments in achieving leadership and competitiveness in innovation and intellectual property rights.

The Committee reviewed the agreement signed between the Ministry of Economy and the Emirati Talent competitiveness council (Nafis) with an aim to create opportunities for UAE youth in the intellectual property sector and patent applications, especially in the examination of applications for industrial property and patents. The Committee emphasized the importance of linking IPAS to the country’s business licensing system to promote intellectual property rights and protect brands in the business and corporate sector. The Committee further noted that by the end of the first half of 2023, the number of business licences registered in the country and those directly linked to creative activities had reached approximately 9,32,000.

Moreover, the Committee analyzed developments in the UAE’s mutual evaluation on Anti-Money Laundering and Combating the Financing of Terrorism with FATF. The meeting discussed the operational action plan to prepare for FATF’s field visit to the Joint Group of Africa and the Middle East in January, which could enhance the UAE’s global position in implementing global AML standards. The Minister of Economy underscored the importance of continuing the joint efforts by the Ministry of Economy’s action teams, the local economic development departments and free zones across the country to achieve national objectives in this regard.

The Committee also reviewed a guide on the most prominent solutions and methodologies on the imposition of administrative sanctions on violators of the Commercial Registry Law. It includes joint efforts between the federal and local stakeholders, a comprehensive methodology adopting the principle of graduated sanctions, and other topics on the value of fines and offences and coordination mechanisms among relevant licensing authorities. This enhances compliance and law enforcement levels and achieves its objectives to preserve the safety and competitiveness of the national business environment.

The Economic Integration Committee, headed by the Ministry of Economy, is responsible for proposing and coordinating policies and economic development programs among all emirates, ensuring harmony and alignment of local and federal economic systems, regulations and procedures, promoting economic cooperation, and submitting proposals and visions for the development of legislation governing the UAE economy.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Economy, represented by the Anti-Money Laundering (AML) department, held a two-day session for gold refineries in the UAE on due diligence regulations for the responsible supply of gold. Its application became mandatory to all gold refineries operating in the country in January 2023. It was announced by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and is applied globally. The move forms part of the Ministry of Economy’s ongoing efforts to strengthen the national AML/CFT regime, particularly in the designated non-financial business or professions (DNFBP) sector.

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