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The Minister of Foreign Affairs said that the UAE is making “strong progress” to prevent illicit financial crimes in order to achieve the goal of becoming “one of the strongest and most respected economies in the world”.
According to Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed, the UAE economy must fight “the threat of organized crime, fraud, money laundering, and corruption.”
“This is a growing issue for all major economies, and it’s one we in the UAE take extremely seriously,” he said, writing in Forbes Middle East on Tuesday.
Sheikh Abdullah stated that the UAE’s approach“will enact a true step-change in our ability to prevent illicit financial flows”.
The United Nations has estimated that the amount laundered throughout the world annually is between $800 billion and $2 trillion, which is almost 2-5 percent of the global GDP.
Although the UAE contributes only a small portion of this large global amount, Sheikh Abdullah said that “illicit finance poses a threat to the UAE’s international reputation and to the integrity of our world-leading financial sector”.
Technological advancements and the spread of globalization have significantly benefited economies like the UAE. However, they have also brought forth new opportunities for criminals to carry out their illicit acts.
“Our interconnected, modern global financial system needs to be protected,” said Sheikh Abdullah.
“That is why I lead the Higher Committee Overseeing the National Strategy on anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing. Our objective is simple: to increase the UAE’s effectiveness at combating financial crime.”
The Foreign Minister said that one of the principles to tackle money laundering is to “recognise the scale and complexity of the situation requires active partnership between government and industry”.
He also added that the second step is that “we have a common goal across the economy of preventing, detecting and deterring illicit activity in the financial system”.
Suggested read: UAE to Step Up AML Measures to Avoid FATF’s Grey List