Malta/UAE double taxation
pact in the pipeline
Malta and the United Arab Emirates are expected to sign
a double taxation treaty in the near future. Negotiations are expected
to kick off this month with a Maltese delegation travelling to the UAE
for discussions on the agreement, which is expected to be signed soon.
The agreement would come hot on the heels of the Malta External Trade
Corporations opening of a representative office in the Gulf, widely
considered as the next major destination for Maltese exporters and traders,
after the North African Maghreb region. Like in the North African region,
many Maltese businesses are eyeing the potential of Malta serving as
a stepping stone for European companies to the lucrative region
particularly in light of Maltas approaching full EU membership.
Malta and the UAE maintain strong business relations, with total trade
between the two countries through Dubai ports increasing from USD10
million in 1997 to USD21.5 million in 2001 - a 109 per cent increase
in just five years.
Abdul Rahman Al Mutaiwee, director general of the Dubai Chamber of Commerce
and Industry, commented at a recent Dubai-based conference on Doing
Business with Malta, "Trade between Dubai and Malta is expected
to reach new heights in the coming years after the opening of Malta
Trade Centre in Dubai.
"It will also be a catalyst for activating the flow of direct and
indirect joint investment in the UAE and Malta. Dubai and Malta can
play similar roles in boosting trade utilising their comprehensive infrastructure,
services and facilities services to penetrate the traditional regions
in Europe, Asia and Africa," Al Mutaiwee said.
He added, "We extend an open invitation to Maltese companies, specialised
institutions and agencies to take advantage of the facilities available
in Dubai and to establish distribution centres in Dubai and in Dubai
Al Mutaiwee expressed the Dubai Chambers commitment to co-operate
with the Malta External Trade Corporation, the Malta Trade Centre in
Dubai and with potential investors and businessmen with a view to accelerating
the pace of UAE investment in and trade with Malta.
Malta and the UAE are also expected to be signing a civil defence agreement
that would help the two countries boost co-operation in fighting sea
pollution and containing disasters.