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Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 16 November 2018

FDI law is a quantum leap for UAE's business environment, Economy Minister says 

The new legislation will help diversify the production base in the country

Sultan Al Mansoori, the UAE's Minister of Economy, said the new FDI law will help strengthen UAE position as preferred destination of investments in the region. Pawan Singh / The National
Sultan Al Mansoori, the UAE's Minister of Economy, said the new FDI law will help strengthen UAE position as preferred destination of investments in the region. Pawan Singh / The National

UAE's new investment law, which was in the works for several years, is a quantum leap for the business environment and will help in diversification of the production base in the country through foreign direct investments, the Economy Minister said on Wednesday.

The legislation will support the Government’s efforts at attracting quality investments in sectors such as knowledge, innovation and advanced technology, which constitute a real challenge for sustainable development, said Sultan Al Mansoori, Minister of Economy.

President Sheikh Khalifa on Tuesday issued an anti-money laundering law to combat terrorism financing and the foreign investment law to maintain and further strengthen UAE’s position as preferred destination in the region for investors, through two separate decrees.

The Emirates has been issuing a series of laws to boost the competitiveness of the economy, including a new debt law that will help financial markets. The country is also introducing a series of reforms aimed at boosting growth, creating jobs and diversifying the economy away from oil income.

The measures announced over the past few months include waiving corporate fines in Dubai and Abu Dhabi and allowing 100 per cent foreign ownership in companies in selected sectors from the end of this year.

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FDI in the UAE grew by around 8 per cent year-on-year in 2017, reaching $10.86 billion (Dh39.89bn). The government is now setting up a Foreign Direct Investment Unit at the Ministry of Economy that will be responsible for proposing FDI policies in the country and determining its priorities; and setting up associated plans and programmes and work on their implementation following their approval by the Cabinet, said the decree carried by state-run Wam news agency.

It is all part of the country’s strategic national target to increase its attractiveness to FDI, promote diversification, inject the national economy with financial liquidity, stimulate trade movement and improve the business environment in the country, the Economy Minister said.

The government is making concerted efforts to channel FDI towards priority sectors in the country’s development agenda, such as those contributing to job creation, enhancing productivity, technology transfer, exchange of experiences and improving sustainability, he added.