UAE and US in Third Round FTA Negotiations
Abu Dhabi, Asharq Al-Awsat - The UAE and US will resume their FTA negotiations on the 12 through the 16 of November in London. The negotiations which will take place in the Churchill Hotel will focus on vital issues of common interest to both countries.
The UAE delegation will be led by Dr. Mohamed Khalfan bin Khirbash, Minister of State for Finance and Industry and Sheikha Lubna Al Qasimi, UAE Minister of Economy and Planning.
The negotiating team from both sides will focus on the areas of telecommunication, tax exemption, and the opening of the service sector. Other issues such as opening both markets for insurance and reinsurance companies and other financial institutions, IPR, rules of origin, and technical assistance in standardization and metrology will also be discussed.
“There has been good progress on the negotiations during the last two rounds of talks and in continuing contacts between the delegations,” said Dr. Khirbash..
“Thanks to our openness and liberal economic policies and efficient infrastructure and logistics, the UAE economy has been able to grow and attract talented people, huge investments, and international companies to operate within its shores. We will continue working uncompromisingly to boost investment flows and the acquisition of know-how and technology with the US through the instrument of the FTA and further improve the investment climate and lower the cost of doing business for investors. The UAE has both a regional and international vocation.” Dr. Khirbash noted.
Dr. Khirbash commended the negotiating sub-teams consultation and meetings’ with the stakeholders from the private sector, highlighting the importance of the public-private sector partnership in establishing the UAE’s position with regards to the substantive issues arising from the agreement. “This agreement will have a positive impact on the private sector in terms of raising the standards of work and performance and improving the external competitiveness of our businesses and economy. We are pro-actively engaged with our Chambers of Commerce, business, professional and industrial associations and other private sector representative bodies to find a common position on which we base our negotiations. The aim is to arrive at the best deal and the best outcome for the UAE. It has been a fruitful process thus far,” assured Dr. Khirbash.
The Free Trade Agreement with the US will grant the UAE access to the largest consumer market in the world. UAE and US have preceded the FTA negotiations with a Trade and Investment Frame Work Agreement, which was ratified in April 2004 by the UAE Federal cabinet.