The UAE is resolute in forging a stronger era in the fight against global financial crime

The country is taking proactive measures to fortify its economy and secure itself as a pivotal player in the global marketplace

The UAE's economic strategy aims to build a knowledge-based and diversified economy. Reuters
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Over the past four decades, there have been commendable and concerted global endeavours to strengthen the regulatory framework in response to the evolving risks associated with international financial crime. These collaborative efforts have established robust practices in the realm of combating money laundering.

The UAE is committed to addressing the risks posed by financial crime – whether to consumers, businesses, or the integrity of the financial system. The UAE’s leadership demonstrated its steadfast commitment across more than 90 government entities – along with the private sector – by making a high-level pledge to enhance the effectiveness of its defence against financial crime, setting out clear rules and expectations.

This was underlined this week when the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) announced that the UAE has completed all recommendations from its action plan and has been removed from FATF’s list of “jurisdictions under increased monitoring”, following a plenary meeting held from February 19-23 in Paris.

This announcement affirms the UAE’s proactive measures to combat financial crime and enhance the country’s approach to align with best international practices. Through such measures, the UAE aims to reinforce its leading position at the forefront of one of the world’s most diverse and fastest-growing economies and as a competitive economic, investment and financial hub that implements the highest standards of integrity and transparency.

The UAE will continue to collaborate with FATF and international partners to strengthen its collective defence systems against international financial crimes. These endeavours included creating effective tools to enhance financial compliance, and consolidating the work that has been achieved to combat money laundering and countering the financing of terrorism.

This announcement affirms the UAE’s proactive measures to combat financial crime and enhance the country’s approach to align with best international practices

This aligns with the UAE’s economic strategies, which are based on economic diversity, aimed at building a knowledge-based and diversified economy strengthened by scientific and technological advancement. The UAE’s economic business environment is characterised as dynamic, prosperous, and attractive to direct foreign investments, ranking first among Arab nations and holding an advanced position globally as a modern financial, trading and economic hub.

The UAE’s vision for the next 50 years is to become an international hub for investments and economic innovation, an inclusive system for entrepreneurship and an advanced lab for new economic opportunities and projects.

In just 52 years, the wise leadership has successfully transformed the UAE into a thriving global financial centre and international economic trading hub. Within this transformative period, the country has developed an environment conducive to business prosperity, marked by robust regulatory frameworks, unwavering government support, seamless physical and digital connectivity, and a workforce distinguished by its high skill levels and remarkable talent pool. This rapid evolution positions the UAE as not only a testament to visionary development but also as a testament to the nation's commitment to fostering an unparalleled ecosystem for businesses to thrive.

Furthermore, our Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreements (Cepas) are establishing and deepening trade connections with dynamic, high-growth economies worldwide. The agreements aim to enhance the UAE’s economic competitiveness by aiming to attract $150 billion (Dh550 billion) of direct foreign investments over the next nine years. These investments will focus on sectors such as the digital economy, infrastructure, entrepreneurship, advanced skills, space and advanced technology. Together, Cepas will shape a dynamic and prosperous journey for the UAE and future generations across the region.

However, the country believes that the risks of global financial crime are continually evolving. Thus, the UAE is focused on maintaining the infrastructure and systems to address contemporary as well as future financial crime risks.

The UAE’s commitment to addressing financial crime is built on a clear understanding that it is a global problem, which therefore requires international effort. This recognition underscores the shared responsibility in preventing financial crime, money laundering and terrorist financing, involving a diverse array of stakeholders such as policymakers, regulators, law enforcement, financial intelligence agencies and private sector entities.

With globalisation and the progression of new technologies and digitisation, it is imperative to forge an equitable balance between fostering innovation and establishing a transparent and predictable regulatory framework.

That is why it is crucial that everyone knows the “rules of the game”, and equally important that adherence to these rules is unwavering. These regulations serve as a means to formalise expectations, seeking and ensuring compliance without stifling innovation. Ideally, such rules should be internationally agreed upon and implemented to foster a cohesive global approach.

In the UAE, we place great emphasis on robust multilateral partnerships and a collective dedication to attaining stability and prosperity. Through these principles, we aim to spearhead a new era in global exchange, safeguarding our role as a thriving global financial centre and an international economic trading hub.

By taking these proactive measures to fortify our economy, we not only enhance the safety and strength of the UAE but also secure its position as a pivotal player in this transformative phase of global exchange.

Published: February 27, 2024, 4:00 AM