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Changes in company ownership laws will help boost UAE’s recovery

A proposal to amend the rule regarding the 51-49 per cent ownership of companies will help support the UAE’s recovery by attracting more foreign investors, according to a Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry

“The UAE Government is putting in place plans to continue making the country more attractive for foreign investors at a time of global economic instability,” the Dubai Chamber said in the report released yesterday.

“In particular, the government is planning to issue revised company, industry and investment laws that will significantly change the country’s business landscape. The aim of the revised laws [which are in the final stages of being approved] is to make it easier for foreign investors to do business in the country and provide maximum protection for their investments.”

The 2010 Economic Freedom Index conducted by the Heritage Foundation suggests that the ease of doing business in the UAE has improved, reflecting positive market sentiment and an overall increase in risk appetite, it said.

The UAE scored 67.3 out of 100 in the index, making its economy the 46th freest (out of 179 countries) .

This is an improvement of 2.6 index points than in 2009, which is primarily down to an increase in business freedom, investment freedom as well property rights.

In order to establish a business that sells products or services freely throughout the UAE (in non-Free Trade Zone areas), at least 51 per cent of the business must be owned by a UAE national. Forming this type of joint partnership is the best and easiest way to establish a business in the UAE. All businesses require a licence and licensing procedures vary from emirate to emirate.

“Looking ahead, by recognising the importance of business reforms, especially geared towards the private sector, the UAE Government has clearly improved the country’s business competitiveness. This has laid the groundwork for future job creation, increased firm revenue and in turn overall business growth in the coming years,” the report said.


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