The Competition Law can't come soon enough for the UAE with the cost of living increases, inflationary pressure and the like. If the UAE is to remain competitive to the outside world, it must remain competitive within. That's a simple deduction. Implementation of such a law would be pro-business, pro-growth and would answer the critics who say that the growth in the UAE is unsustainable.
Of course, the devil is in the details. The "special report
" in the Gulf News today (p46) is an important read that quotes the WTO's critique of the UAE's trade policy.
Highlights of this critique include:
- an attack on the Emiratisation Plan, saying that it could be an impediment to to doing business and further promote the free zones
- an absence of a policy will preclude the UAE from the advantages of a free economy
- exclusive UAE agents will lead to market segmentation and increase the prices for branded goods
- the need to move away from the 49% maximum foreign ownership rule which has restricted FDI
However, the WTO is positive that reforms will be made to the benefit of the UAE as a whole. Now is the time to iron out the details to maximise the growth that the UAE deserves.
(Aside, this article should be front page news, and not languishing in the murkiness of the middle of the business section)