United Arab Emirates Trade Agreements

The United States began a free trade agreement (FTA) in March 2005. In early 2007, the United States and the United Arab Emirates announced that they would not be able to conclude the FTA negotiations within the time limit set for the Trade Promotion Authority, but that both sides remain committed to concluding the FTA negotiations at a later date. No further FTA negotiations have taken place. The United Arab Emirates has been a member of the WTO since April 1996, a member of the Gulf Cooperation Council and the main trade node in the region. The United Arab Emirates benefits from the free trade agreements signed between the GCC and EFTA, as well as the GCC and Singapore. The United Arab Emirates is also a signatory to the Greater Arab Free Trade Agreement (GAFTA). The UAE is also a signatory to the World Trade Organization`s (WTO) Information Technology Agreement (ITA), a treaty that binds 78 countries (accounting for 97% of global trade in computer products) to remove tariffs on computer products. The many goods covered by the treaty are estimated at more than $1.3 trillion a year. The Abu Dhabi government has formed the Advisory Committee on Free Trade Agreements, whose objective is to lift trade restrictions between the Emirate of Abu Dhabi and the countries with which the UAE is negotiating a free trade agreement. The Authority is also trying to transform, through the act of bilateral agreements, the objective that it has adopted as its motto since the beginning of its work, that is to say “ Towards a secure society . and fair trade“, in a local reality, protecting local society from the negative economic, social and health effects of counterfeit and dual goods, monitoring the movement of dual-use materials, respecting intellectual property rights and rules of origin and, in the meantime, facilitating trade movement between the UAE and its trading partners around the world. Bilateral international agreements must also reach both parts of the envisaged tariff equation, namely „a safe society and fair trade“ through a number of fundamental axes contained in the agreements, including the strengthening of joint international cooperation in the field of customs, the fight against crimes prejudicial to security, the economy and security of the Community.