11 of Apr, 2010
Ministry of Economy to revamp business laws
The Ministry of Economy is in the process of developing new laws as part of the modernisation of the legislative system and the enhancement of the business environment, in line with the UAE strategic vision for 2021.
The new laws will cover Foreign Investment, Competition, Certificate of Origin, Arbitration, Industry Affairs Regulation, Amendment of Industrial Ownership, Anti Commercial Fraud, Auditors Profession Regulation and Companies' Law. The Competition Law will lay down mechanisms to govern healthy competition in business, while the Law of Commercial Arbitration will plug gaps.
"The UAE is revamping its legal system to reflect the changes in the global economic landscape and maintain its competitive edge as a centre of business. It is a thorough process that will fulfil specific conditions and requires a lot of time, research and consensus among all parties involved," said Sultan Saeed Al Mansouri, Minister of Economy.
Various other ministries and federal agencies are involved in drafting the laws, with the Ministry of Economy being responsible for specific stages and preparations in the process.
The Ministry has already prepared the competition law, which has been finalized by the Ministerial Legal Committee and will now be send to the Cabinet. This law will encourage competition and will reduce monopoly practices in line with the recommendations of the World Trade Organisation.
The Certificate of Origin law aims to re-organise legislation related to Certificates of Origin in order to specify the origin of the commodity. The Ministry has also finalized the draft of the Arbitration law in cooperation with a group of legal experts from the Abu Dhabi Arbitration Centre.
The Industry law will develop the performance of the industrial sector and will stipulate plans to encourage small and medium industries and enhance the quality of products. It will work to protect UAE products from harmful practices like dumping.
The amendments to the Industrial Ownership law prove the UAE's commitment towards the International Intellectual Property Rights Organisation. The amendments included seven new articles to protect planning designs of integrated departments and six articles to protect non disclosed information.
The Auditors law aims at enhancing and developing the economic infrastructure and competition by strengthening the auditor's profession and also contributes to achieving greater transparency and disclosure of the institutions in UAE.
The Anti-fraud law will preserve the earnings of the UAE as it is considered a re-exports hub and will support trade policies. The law is aimed at protecting the UAE's economic interests.
Rites of passage
Passing the new laws involves several steps. First, the Ministry of Economy will seek the Cabinet's permission to form the law, and the first draft will be shared with all concerned parties in the government and private sectors. The Draft Law is then sent to the Cabinet for approval and to the Legal Technical Committee at the Ministry of Justice that amends the draft in coordination with the Ministry of Economy. The law will then be referred to the Ministerial Legal Committee to be discussed and amended and after that transferred to the Cabinet for revision and approval. It will then go to the Federal National Council for discussion and approval and to the Ministry of Presidential Affairs for official issuance.
The proposed foreign investment law will unify legislations for foreign investments and includes required exemptions and guarantees.