ABU DHABI, 23rd June, 2022 (WAM) — The Ministry of Economy, in collaboration with the Executive Office of the Anti-Money Laundering and Countering the Financing of Terrorism in the UAE, held an extensive two-day workshop for the country’s 42 company registrars, which includes all economic development services and the UAE’s commercial-free zone authorities.
The workshop, which also featured the participation of experts from the leading global business advisory services provider PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), aimed at monitoring progress in implementing the objectives of the UAE’s company registrars operational plan that stems from the national AML/CFT Strategy and past phase’s national action plan.
Abdullah Sultan Al Fann Al Shamsi, Assistant Undersecretary for the Monitoring & Following Up Sector at the Ministry of Economy and Chairman of the Company registrars committee, said that the UAE had made significant progress in developing and enabling anti-money laundering laws and legislation in the past, as per the directives of the leadership and in line with the targets and principles of the 50 to build a resilient and sustainable economic model that boasts the highest standards of transparency.
He underlined that the country’s efforts in this direction are continuing in accordance with international best practices and in coordination with various global partners, thus ensuring the achievement of the national action plan’s objectives and aligning with the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) findings.
In turn, Hamid Saif Al Zaabi, Director-General of the Executive Office, said, “This training workshop is a new starting point in the review of company registration mechanisms and the auditing of beneficiary owner data, in accordance with the approach established by the Ministry of Economy to strengthen the UAE’s capacity to assess risks and develop suspicious transaction reporting guidance.”
In her speech on behalf of Al Shamsi, Safeya Hashim Al Safi, Director of the Anti-Money Laundering Department, Ministry of Economy and Vice Chairman of the Registrars Committee, said that the Ministry’s efforts will also help maintain the status and position of the national economy and its positive reputation in various global markets.
She added that the Ministry continues to implement its strategic plans for achieving the highest standards of financial and commercial control and confronting unsound practices in business activities, thereby enhancing the global competitiveness of the national economy.
Al Safi noted that the workshop is a proactive step in reviewing registration mechanisms in accordance with the risk assessment approach and the development of suspicious transaction reporting guidance, as well as the ways to fulfil the requirements of the national AML/CFT Strategy.
The workshop’s participants explored ways to ascertain the level of delivery of initiatives and activities included in the UAE registrars operational plan that stems from the national AML/CFT Strategy and gained a more profound understanding on each registrar’s role in the implementation of the plan and its linking to evidence and proofs.
The Ministry of Economy launched an operational action plan for the Committee of Corporate Registrars in the UAE in 2021 in collaboration with its partners to raise awareness levels of all facilities licensed by or registered under the Economic Development Departments and local licensing authorities and those operating in commercial-free zones, on the need to submit their real beneficiary data to licensors to avoid sanctions.
As a result, the registration of data of 96% of companies registered within the country and commercial-free zones has been achieved so far.