UAE plans to scrap monopolies of some massive service provider households
© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A general view of JBR from Bluewaters Island in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, Dec 08, 2021. REUTERS / Satish Kumar
(Reuters) – The UAE government has told some of its largest business families that it wants to end their monopolies on the sale of imported goods, the Financial Times reported on Sunday.
The government did not immediately respond to Reuters’ request for comment, but state news agency WAM cited a statement from the Department of Commerce saying that a bill on trade agencies is still in the legislative cycle and “too early for details.”
The cabinet referred the draft to the Federal National Council for discussion and possibly other changes, it added.
The FT report said the proposed legislation would end the automatic renewal of existing agency agreements in the Gulf State, which would allow foreign firms to sell their own goods or switch local agents.
“It no longer makes sense for individual families to have such power and preferential access to easy wealth,” the report quoted an Emirati official as saying. “We have to modernize our economy.”
The proposed law has to be approved by the Emirati leadership and the timing of it remains uncertain, the report added.
Over the past year, the UAE, a growing economic rival of Saudi Arabia, took steps to make its economy more attractive to foreign investors and talent.
Earlier this year, the UAE said that foreigners opening a business would no longer need an Emirati shareholder or agent after the UAE company law was changed.
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