11 June 2003

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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 Corporation’s 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 Malta’s 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 Free Zones."
Al Mutaiwee expressed the Dubai Chamber’s 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.

Copyright © Newsworks Ltd. Malta.
Editor: Saviour Balzan
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