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null Ministry of Economy and AML/CFT Executive Office hold round table to discuss efforts of company registrars in UAE

09 Nov 2022

Ministry of Economy and AML/CFT Executive Office hold round table to discuss efforts of company registrars in UAE



H.E. Bin Touq: The UAE has a leading and integrated AML/CFT system supervised by specialized committees



The Ministry of Economy, in cooperation with the Executive Office of the Anti-Money Laundering and Countering the Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT) in the UAE, held a roundtable for the general managers of company registrars in the country. It was attended by Hamid Al Zaabi, Director General of the AML/CFT Executive Office; and H.E Abdullah Sultan Al Fann Al Shamsi, Assistant Undersecretary for the Monitoring and Following up Sector at the Ministry of Economy, apart from the heads and general managers of economic development departments and the executive directors of UAE’s free zones. All 39 company registrars in the country participated in the round table to discuss their efforts; the progress achieved so far in implementing the AML/CFT operational plan; and the challenges they face in this regard.


H.E. Abdulla bin Touq Al Marri, Minister of Economy, stated that the UAE considers combating money laundering and the financing of terrorism as one of the main priorities of its new economic model based on knowledge and innovation, in light of the ‘projects of the 50’ and the determinants of the UAE Centennial 2071. H.E. explained that the UAE has exerted painstaking efforts in developing a leading and integrated AML/CFT regime, which includes a set of laws and regulations that deter business practices that harm the national economy’s reputation. Specialized committees are overseeing the implementation of the provisions of these policies and continuously monitoring them through a technologically advanced infrastructure that ensures the elimination of the sources of such practices, he added.


In addition, the Minister of Economy conveyed the greetings of H.H Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation and Chairman of the Higher Committee Overseeing the National AML/CFT Strategy, to the company registrars for their efforts and important role in implementing more than 75 per cent of the objectives of the operational plan already. These objectives stem from the national plan to combat money laundering and counter the financing of terrorism in 2022, which enhances the country’s position on global competitiveness indicators, and contributes to its unlisting from the list of ‘countries under increased monitoring’ as soon as possible.

H.E. added: “The Ministry of Economy held 22 meetings with company registrars through the subcommittee of company registrars in the UAE. We will continue implementing the UAE’s AML/CFT regime in an effective and deterrent manner, in a way that ensures a safe and business-friendly environment in the UAE.”

Furthermore, H.E. Bin Touq explained that the Ministry of Economy works alongside its strategic partners to enable the registrars to develop an integrated AML/CFT regime, achieve sustainable compliance and deter violators in accordance with the relevant national legislation. He pointed out that the effective implementation of this regime does not conflict with the UAE's policies, programs and plans aimed at developing the business environment and attracting investment. He explained that achieving full compliance of targeted sectors in this regard will help enhance investor confidence and reputation of the UAE economy, build global partnerships and drive investment flows, achieving further integration with the global economy.

H.E. Hamid Al Zaabi confirmed that the transparency of UBO data of companies is essential to prevent illegal flow of funds, pointing out that this calls for the constant development of plans aimed at ascertaining ultimate beneficiaries and informal nominal arrangements. He noted that the UAE has accelerated the pace of its efforts in this direction through the implementation of the full national economic register with all company registrars in terms of basic information.

He pointed out that the round table is a basic platform for information exchange, agreeing on priorities, and planning for the coming months to enhance the UAE's AML/CFT efforts.

The round table is part of a series of meetings held by the Ministry of Economy in cooperation with the AML/CFT Executive Office to communicate and coordinate with the registrars and assess the progress of efforts. The meeting discussed the national compliance framework and the requirements of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), the UAE’s legal framework to prevent misuse of legal persons, the role of senior management in the registry, the systems, resources and AML/CFT processes and the application of a risk-based approach. The meeting also approved further steps for cooperation between the Ministry of Economy and the Executive Office in the next stage, to complete the UBO system and effectively meet FATF requirements.

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