Dubai – MENA Herald: The UAE accession to the World Trade Organization marked its 20th year at a prestigious event held in Geneva recently. As one of the key speakers at the event, Eng. Mahmood Al Bastaki, CEO of Dubai Trade, spoke on the importance of enabling seamless trade and the benefits it brings the UAE Economy.

Al Bastaki underlined how seamless trade and improved business processes are enabled by the application of technology. He emphasised four main drivers that enable seamless trade between nations including:

The need for a healthy business environment
The availability of hard infrastructure
Soft infrastructure in the form of technological systems and sophisticated digital platforms that allow for streamlined business processes
Building business capacity through open communication channels between businesses and partner governments.

Al Bastaki explained how the UAE features a stable political outlook and a pro-business culture and is considered a safe haven with transparent business regulations. He also mentioned the Government’s use of Information and Communications Technology (ICT) and its recognition as first in the MENA region and second in the world for the use of ICT according to Global Information Technology Report.

He said: “The UAE is globally renowned in the trade and logistics sector where it ranked first for merchandise imports and exports in the MENA region according to the World Trade Organisation’s Report on International Trade Trends. It is also ranked top for the quality of roads and infrastructure in the WTO’s Global Enabling Trade Report.”

Since its accession, the UAE has adopted the principles of the WTO by pursuing economic openness and free trade which led to a gradual reduction of custom duties on exports at all levels. By joining the WTO the UAE developed laws to regulate a wide range of activities such as intellectual property, trade in services, and trade defence.

H.E. Sultan Bin Saeed Al Mansoori, the UAE Minister of Economy, underlined the importance of the UAE Accession to the WTO. He said: “Our membership of the WTO is of paramount importance to the UAE as it confirms our position as a major business destination.”

Sultan Bin Sulayem, Group Chairman and CEO of DP World and Chairman of Ports, Customs and Free Zone Corporation, said: “The UAE’s 20-year membership at the WTO has helped make the country into the business hub that it is today and our commitment to it has enabled our growth.”

Al Bastaki reinforced the impact of membership. He added: “Business and trade is the backbone of the UAE’s economy, and our accession to the WTO enabled us to be part of a global organisation where nations can agree on international trade principles in order to benefit the global economy.”