The UAE called for developing legislation on the entry of global e-commerce platforms to the region’s markets and the development of local and regional electronic platforms to enhance competition and break monopolies.
In an opening address at the main session of the Fourth Annual Arab Fiscal Forum organized by the IMF, Arab Monetary Fund, AMF, and the UAE Ministry of Finance, today at the World Government Summit 2019, Obaid Al Tayer, UAE Minister of State for Financial Affairs, gave a brief overview of global economic and financial conditions, noting that the past few months have seen signs of slowing global growth, accompanied by increasing volatility in financial markets and oil prices. Trade tensions between the United States and China, the confusion over a no-deal Brexit and the tightening of fiscal and geopolitical factors in the region have contributed to global economic uncertainty.
He stressed that Arab countries are close trade partners of both China and the US and are keen not to be affected by the trade tensions between the two countries. China’s growing energy needs have contributed to closer ties between the Middle East and China, especially with the Belt and Road Initiative, which includes the creation of industrial parks, ports, new economic zones and digital economy initiatives.
Al Tayer warned that some countries will continue to adopt a protectionist policy, which will put pressure on global trade flows that may ultimately affect the countries adopting protectionist approaches.
The minister explained that Brexit may offer fresh investment opportunities for Arab countries. He stressed on the importance of avoiding undesirable effects on British investments in the Arab region and tourist inflows.
Al Tayer stressed the role of a strong private sector in enhancing productivity, competitiveness and entrepreneurship, as well as investments in raising education and skill levels. He pointed to the importance of partnering with the private sector to strengthen the economy, and improve legal, institutional and economic frameworks, and the human capacity needed to ensure the efficient use of these resources.