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UAE is analysing impact of free trade agreement

UAE is analysing impact of free trade agreement

MENAFN - 19/01/2005

DUBAI - The UAE Ministry of Finance and Industry (MoFI) is currently undertaking an impact analysis of the effects a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) might have on the local economy, said Khalid Ali Al Bustani, Undersecretary for Budget and Revenues.

Al Bustani said: "The analysis is in the preparation of the opening round for negotiating talks in March on the Free Trade Agreement between UAE and US. Any agreement will have to be clearly beneficial to the UAEs, and as such the Government considered it vital to asses the impacts prior to the negotiations decisions being taken in relation to the proposed agreement, and will guide the upcoming negotiations. The US has free trade agreements with Bahrain, Jordan and Morocco, and we are closely examining the measures these countries have taken."

To assist the study, Ministry has contracted an international economic consultancy firm, Maxwell Stamp, which has assembled a team of experts from around the world. The consultants, who have experience negotiating such free trade agreements with the USA, have been in the UAE for the last 10 days meeting with key stakeholders in both Government and the business community. Their work will assess the current situation and future impacts, examine possible cost and benefits, and make recommendations for the upcoming negotiations.

The work will focus on assessment of both the impact on traded goods (traditional imports and exports of goods), and on trade in services (including for example area such as telecommunications, financial services, transport). It will also look at cross cutting areas of the agreement such as investment, intellectual property rights, environment and labour, added Al Bustani.

The UAE and USA signed a Trade and Investment Framework Agreement on the March 15th, 2004, to foster economic ties between the two countries.

The negotiation delegation has been formed out of all the involved ministries, and a joint business council was then formed to foster UAE-US private sector relations, concluded Al Bustani.

 source: MENAFN