IMF concludes Article IV consultations with UAE

12 March 2003
The UAE needs to strengthen its fiscal position and push ahead with structural reform if it is to meet its economic growth and job creation targets, according to the conclusion of the IMF's Article IV consultations. The government received praise for its economic liberalisation and sound economic management which have resulted in low inflation, strong gross domestic product (GDP) growth and a comfortable external position. Progress has been made on diversifying away from oil dependence but more needs to be done in this area, the report concluded. Another key challenge in 2003 will be to strengthen the fiscal position through a reduction in subsidies, increasing public spending efficiency and the imposition of a broad-based tax system. Greater fiscal transparency was encouraged. In common with a January report, the IMF commended a 'sound and well-supervised' banking system and approved of measures taken to combat money-laundering, while proposing reform of the insurance sector (MEED 29:1:03). In order to increase foreign direct investment, restrictions outside the free zones need to be lifted, the IMF said.

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