UAE issued 151 decisions on financial sector policies and laws in 2023

Country has so far signed a total of 147 agreements to avoid double taxation

The UAE ranked first globally in four international indices of competitiveness related to the financial sector last year. Victor Besa / The National
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The UAE government issued 151 Cabinet decisions related to the financial sector last year, covering the launch of new policies and initiatives, laws and approval of international agreements.

The country, which had assets valued at Dh481.5 billion ($131 billion) as of the third quarter of 2023, also ranked first globally in four international indices of competitiveness related to the financial sector, the UAE Government Media Office said in a statement on Sunday.

"The policies, strategies, and programmes implemented, within the federal scope, in the financial sector ... have provided a great support to all sectors of development in the UAE," Sheikh Maktoum bin Mohammed, First Deputy Ruler of Dubai, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance of the UAE, said.

"This, in turn, supports the objectives related to bolstering the efficiency and sustainability of resources in the federal government.”

The UAE's Ministry of Finance will continue its support in the next phase to enhance the country's economic performance, in line with the UAE Economic Principles Document, he said.

The document lays out the guidelines for all federal entities and features preparing the necessary legislation, laws, policies and frameworks to protect the stability of the country’s financial systems.

"This tremendously bolsters the investors’ confidence," Sheikh Maktoum said.

The UAE was ranked first globally for "efficiency of government spending" and “the government budget balance with the GDP” in the Prosperity Index last year. It was also ranked for “the adaptability of the government policy” in the World Competitiveness Booklet 2023 and for “financial openness” in the Travel and Tourism Development Report 2023, published by the World Economic Forum.

"The country’s financial systems enjoy a continuous process of development and modernisation, within a framework that consolidates the role of the federal financial system in achieving comprehensive and sustainable development in the UAE," Sheikh Maktoum said.

Last year, the UAE Cabinet approved the issuance of 15 federal laws in the financial sector and 62 regulatory decisions enhancing the efficiency of managing the financial position and cash flows in the federal government.

The regulatory decisions approved included 10 decisions regulating tax matters, 17 decisions regulating government services and six decisions on the federal government’s financial policies.

The UAE government also signed or approved eight international agreements to improve its competitiveness.

These entail four international agreements on incentivising and protecting investment with Côte d’Ivoire, Mozambique, Barbados and Guyana. Another four international agreements were aimed at avoiding double taxation and the prevention of financial evasion related to income tax with Côte d’Ivoire, Czech Republic, Tanzania and Guyana.

This brings the total number of agreements to avoid double taxation to 147, and 112 international deals to encourage and protect investment.

The UAE economy is expected to grow by 5 per cent this year, driven by a robust expansion in the country's non-oil sector and increase in foreign direct investment.

The non-oil economy currently accounts for 73 per cent of the UAE’s gross domestic product, which is a “historic first for the country”, Minister of Economy Abdulla bin Touq told the state news agency Wam last week.

Updated: March 03, 2024, 11:36 AM