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PRESS RELEASE: PRESS/TPRB/263
24 and 26 April 2006

TRADE POLICY REVIEW: UNITED ARAB EMIRATES (UAE)

A generally liberal economy whose perfomance could further improve with structural reform

The UAE’s generally liberal and increasingly diversified economy, the importance of trade for its economic performance, its relatively low border barriers to trade, and its growing economic power make it an increasingly important supporter of the multilateral trading system, according to a report on the trade policies and practices of the UAE by the WTO Secretariat.

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The economy has grown by 6% per year on average over the past decade and 9% in 2003-2005, although, despite some diversification, the UAE still depends on crude oil and gas exports for a significant share of its national income. But internal barriers to trade, resulting largely from the absence of a competition policy, institutional weaknesses, and restrictions on foreign participation in the economy, are impediments to doing business in the UAE and are hindering the diversification into services, a sector that is rapidly becoming a strategic priority.

The report says that structural reforms, including the abolition of the restrictive Trade Agency Law, the adoption of competition legislation, and further liberalization of and multilateral commitments in the services sector, would improve resource allocation and the UAE’s economic performance.

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> Programme of reviews for 2006

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The WTO report, along with a policy statement by the Government, will be the basis for the Trade Policy Review (TPR) by the Trade Policy Review Body of the WTO.

The following documents are available in MS Word format.

  

Note  back to top

Trade Policy Reviews are an exercise, mandated in the WTO agreements, in which member countries’ trade and related policies are examined and evaluated at regular intervals. Significant developments that may have an impact on the global trading system are also monitored. For each review, two documents are prepared: a policy statement by the government of the member under review, and a detailed report written independently by the WTO Secretariat. These two documents are then discussed by the WTO’s full membership in the Trade Policy Review Body (TPRB). These documents and the proceedings of the TPRB’s meetings are published shortly afterwards.

Print copies of previous TPR publications are available for sale from the WTO Secretariat, Centre William Rappard, 154 rue de Lausanne, 1211 Genève 21 and through the on-line bookshop.

The TPR publications are also available from our co-publisher Bernan Press, 4611-F Assembly Drive, Lanham, MD 20706-4391, United States.

 

Schedule of forthcoming reviews  back to top

Uruguay: 17 and 19 May 2006
Iceland: 7 and 9 June 2006
Chinese Taipei: 20 and 22 June 2006