UAE economic reforms praised in Mashreq report

The economic liberalisation initiatives implemented by the UAE could take the country to “new heights” according to a research report published by Mashreq Bank.

The report, titled ‘Drivers for Change’, focuses on the various schemes launched to diversify the UAE economy and to help attract fundraising from global investors.

It focuses on the introduction of VAT and corporate tax, the lifting of corporate ownership restrictions and the privatisation of state assets.

According to Feras Al Jaramani, head of public sector and energy at Mashreq, these actions have “greatly enhanced transparency and disclosure, bringing the UAE fiscal regime into line with global markets”.

The report also references reforms in the debt and capital markets and the integration of ESG policies as factors in the growth of fundraising. With the UAE set to host the COP28 climate conference later this year and harbouring ambition to be a hub for sustainable finance, the focus on ESG is likely to intensify.

“Sustainable finance is critical in enabling environmentally and socially responsible behaviours throughout value chains, and the UAE is well positioned to serve as a regional and global hub for investments underpinned by ESG principles,” stated Mohab Nematallah, head of public sector at Mashreq.

The report also cites the flurry of IPOs that have taken place in the last year and predicts that this will continue amid “strong investor demand”.

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