Economic Integration Committee adopts flexible action plan to provide data on Beneficial Owner of more than 400,000 companies registered in UAE

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Abu Dhabi: The Economic Integration Committee recently held its 5th meeting virtually, headed by H.E Abdulla Bin Touq Al Marri, UAE Minister of Economy; and in the presence of H.E Dr. Ahmad Belhoul Al Falasi, Minister of State for Entrepreneurship and SMEs; and H.E Dr. Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, Minister of State for Foreign Trade, in addition to the representatives of local economic development departments in all emirates of the UAE.

The meeting discussed the integration efforts between the Ministry of Economy and the departments of economic development in the UAE, and all relevant federal and local institutions. It reviewed the world-leading successes achieved at the federal and local levels, in addition to discussing ways to enhance cooperation and partnership to support the UAE’s preparations for the next 50 years and contribute to providing government services in line with the best global standards.

H.E. Bin Touq confirmed that the Economic Integration Committee is working on achieving the national objectives in line with the UAE Centennial 2071, and following the directives of the wise leadership, to enhance the country’s economic model. It strives to promote the principles of partnership, integration of roles, coordination and joint action in order to drive economic growth in each emirate of the UAE, to support sustainable development and the national economy, and to shape the features of the future economy over the next fifty years.

H.E. added: ‘Through the Economic Integration Committee, we will continue discussing priority economic matters and enhancing the outcomes of plans and initiatives implemented by the various development entities in the country. During the 5th meeting, we discussed several important issues, including mechanisms for implementing international standards regarding realistic and specific economic activities, according to Cabinet Resolution No. (57) of 2020, and an action plan was approved to define the relevant economic activities to combat tax evasion. A flexible action plan was also adopted to provide data for the Beneficial Owner of more than 400,000 companies registered in the UAE to implement the requirements of Cabinet Resolution No. 58 of 2020 regarding the organization of the Beneficial Owner’s data. The focus was placed on the importance of continuing national efforts to support the recovery and growth of the business environment and accelerate the economic recovery, as well as strengthening the position of the UAE on the international map and global indicators.”

The Committee has approved an action plan to provide the real beneficiary data of more than 400,000 companies registered in the UAE to ensure compliance with international standards as stipulated in the ministerial resolution, whereby the companies are obligated to create a register of the real beneficiary and list the required data in the competent authorities’ licensing systems. The move supports the national efforts in the field of combating money laundering and the financing of illegal organizations, thereby enhancing the UAE’s position in the relevant global indicators.        

The execution of the plan has been divided into 4 phases, including holding awareness workshops and providing training to 40 local licensing entities in the areas of providing real beneficiary data, as well as receiving companies’ undertakings to provide their data. This includes the information of real beneficiary and listing real beneficiary data in the national economic register’s system to be connected to the systems of the Ministry and the local licensing authorities in each emirate. The real beneficiary is defined as the person owning the company, or directly or indirectly controlling the company by virtue of owning more than 25% of company’s ownership rights, and 25% or more of the authorities to vote and appoint or discharge the majority of the members of the company’s board of directors. 

During a presentation delivered by H.E. Younis Haji Al Khouri, Undersecretary of the Ministry of Finance, the Committee explored plans concerning the economic substance regulations and international standards and approved an action plan to identify the details and requirements of economic substance activities practiced by the companies licensed to operate all over the UAE, including the free zones. Economic substance activities include, intellectual property business, headquarters business, holding companies’ business, shipping business, and distribution and service center business.    

During the meeting, the Committee also discussed the implementation of its fourth meeting recommendations, including the development of the digital service system in the UAE and the integration of the same at both local and federal levels in accordance with the national priorities. These will ensure the nation’s pioneering position in adapting to the changing global digital economic landscape, thereby reflecting the wise leadership’s directives to upgrade and enhance government services, develop the national register, and increase awareness and education about the importance of verifying safety codes upon using and trading digital currencies in stock markets. It will also increase awareness about illegal sale operations known as the ‘pyramid scheme,’ and foster national collaboration on local and federal levels to continuously support and develop these services. 

The Economic Integration Committee was established recently by virtue of a ministerial resolution issued by the Minister of Economy. The Committee’s scope of tasks includes proposing and coordinating economic development policies and programs in UAE, ensuring conformity and alignment between local and federal economic regulations, rules and procedures, promoting economic cooperation between the seven emirates, and submitting suggestions and sharing opinions for the development of the legislative frameworks regulating economic activities in the UAE.