Dubai, Asharq Al-Awsat- A technical delegation from the World Trade Organization (WTO) visited Jafza (Jebel Ali Free Zone) recently to discuss trade-related issues with regard to WTO agreements.
The meeting, which took place at the Jafza conference room, is part of a series of interactions being held with government representatives and trade bodies to better serve the purpose of effectively reviewing WTO trade policies ahead of the WTO meeting scheduled for March 2006.
Speaking about the visit of the WTO delegation, Salma Bin Hareb, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Jafza, said: "The meeting holds great significance as the amendments and evaluation of laws pertaining to the WTO agreement will influence future trade policies of the UAE and the overall business environment within the country. It was of particular importance to Jafza, where more than 5000 businesses representing a broad scope of economic activity, including manufacturing, trading, distribution and services, have set up facilities."
Jafza is one of the most well-equipped free zones in the world, offering companies a range of benefits such as 100 per cent ownership, simple administrative procedures, world-class infrastructure and 50-year tax break, besides the convenience of a port within the zone.
"The delegation also assessed the need for trade-related technical assistance to the UAE in areas concerning WTO agreements such as policy formulation, tariff reform and competition policy, among others," Salma said.
Topics discussed at the meeting included various aspects of UAE”s trade policy such as tariffs, customs, duties, licensing, sanctions, exports, investment treaties and taxations.
"The meeting also sought to raise awareness about the numerous opportunities offered by the WTO agreements and explored ways that would allow the UAE to take full advantage of the possibilities of the agreements, thereby boosting the country”s economy and trade," She said.
The UAE became a member of the WTO in April 1996. The WTO agreements have a direct impact on the country”s services such as investment, construction, insurance, banking, transport, tourism, property, brokerage, communications and information.