Leaders’ vision ratchets up success of UAE economy - GulfToday

Leaders’ vision ratchets up success of UAE economy


Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum

His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, has reviewed the UAE Government’s financial achievements and initiatives for the year 2023. The outcome included 151 Cabinet decisions related to the financial sector, covering the launch of new policies and initiatives, legislations and laws, and the approval of international agreements.

Sheikh Maktoum Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, First Deputy Ruler of Dubai, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance of the UAE, said, "The policies, strategies, and programmes implemented, within the federal scope, in the financial sector, in line with the vision of President His Highness Sheikh Mohamed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan and the directives of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE, and Ruler of Dubai, have provided a great support to all sectors of development in the UAE, and to their development plan. This, in turn, supports the objectives related to bolstering the efficiency and sustainability of resources in the Federal Government.”

He added, "The UAE was ranked first globally in 4 international indexes of competitiveness related to the financial sector, and third in the General Government Gross Debt indicator, within the annual World Competitiveness Booklet 2023. This affirms the success of the implemented national financial policies and reflects the significant potential of sustainable improvement and progress. It, additionally, reflects the promising opportunities offered to the finance, economy, and investment organisations seeking benefit from the advanced financial ecosystem in the UAE which is boosted by a flexible legislative system and an advanced digital infrastructure."

He said, "The Ministry of Finance will continue in the next phase its support to enhance economic performance, in line with the UAE Economic Principles Document. The Document serves as a road map stipulating the characteristics and pillars of the performance of all federal entities. It features preparing the necessary legislation, laws, policies and frameworks to protect the stability of the country’s financial systems, ensuring its sustainable development and commitment to high international standards in efficiency and safety. This tremendously bolsters the investors’ confidence. 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.”

The UAE ranked 1st globally in 4 international competitiveness indexes

The government's financial policies and efforts introduced in the sector have contributed to the UAE winning the top rank globally in 4 international competitiveness indicators. The UAE was ranked first globally in the indicator of "Efficiency of government spending” in the Prosperity Index report in 2023. It was ranked first in the index of "the government budget balance with the GDP” in the report of the same indicator for the same year, and ranked first in the index of "the adaptability of the government policy”, in the World Competitiveness Booklet 2023, and ranked first in the index of "financial openness” in the Travel and Tourism Development Report 2023, published annually by the World Economic Forum. The UAE was ranked third globally in the index of "general government total gross debt”, in the World Competitiveness Booklet 2023.

Legislation, projects and national initiatives to strengthen public finance

During the year 2023, the UAE Cabinet approved the issuance of 15 federal laws in the financial sector, 62 regulatory decisions enhancing the efficiency and effectiveness of managing the financial position and cash flows in the Federal Government, signed 8 international agreements and approved 9 projects and main national financial initiatives.

The important national financial initiatives and projects presented by the Federal Government in 2023 include the plan to sustain the Federal Government Budget, Sukuk (Islamic Bonds) restructuring, the project of electronic invoicing, updating the Federal Government Public Debt Strategy of 2021-2023, restructuring the Federal Government franchising fees for the firms operating in the telecommunication sector in the UAE, creating a database for the real estate assets with the cost of around Dhs62 billion, enhancing the development and supply chains in the Federal Government, and the project of supporting the GCC Customs Union (GCCCU).

The regulatory decisions approved by the Cabinet in 2023 included 10 decisions regulating tax affairs in the UAE, 17 decisions regulating government services and fees, as well as 6 decisions on other financial policies.

Signing 8 international agreements

The UAE government continued to enhance the country’s competitiveness and consolidate its international relation, signing and ratifying 8 different international agreements, including 4 international agreements on incentivising and protecting investment with the Republic of Côte d’Ivoire, Republic of Mozambique, Barbados, Cooperative Republic of Guyana, and 4 international agreements regarding the avoidance of double taxation and the prevention of financial evasion related to taxes on income with the Republic of Côte d’Ivoire, Czech Republic, the United Republic of Tanzania, and the Cooperative Republic of Guyana. This brings the total number of agreements to avoid double taxation to 147, and 112 international agreements to encourage and protect investment.

Consolidating the strategic partnership with institutions of the international community

The Ministry of Finance has been conducting the necessary preparations for the country to host the annual meeting of the Board of Governors of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development and the Business Forum in 2026, to consolidate the UAE’s position as an attractive and sustainable destination for foreign direct investment, and a major axis on the global investment landscape.

The UAE government successfully completed measuring its financial position, by applying the accrual basis of accounting, in accordance with the standards of the International Public Sector Accounting Standards (IPSAS). The total value of assets reached Dhs481.5 billion until quarter 3 of the year 2023. The UAE maintained its effective strategic partnerships with organisations of the international community, participated in the Poverty Reduction and Growth Trust (PRGT) and IMF’s Resilience and Sustainability Trust (RST), and financially contributed to the 12th Replenishment of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD).


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