WTO: UAE economy grows by 6% per year on average
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.
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.