The United Arab Emirates is the latest region of focus in the fight against illicit trade after the The Transnational Alliance to Combat Illicit Trade (TRACIT) asked for increased efforts this week during a conference in Abu Dhabi.
The conference, hosted by Global Trade Development Week, consisted of industry leaders analyzing the illicit trade vulnerabilities in the wake of increased trafficking in the region of Jebel Ali Free Trade Zone.
The United Arab Emirates currently ranks 34th globally with an overall rank of 68/100 for structural capability to effectively address illicit trade according to 2018 Global Illicit Trade Environment Index.
“I’m not surprised that UAE has scored in the top third of our global rankings,” TRACIT Director-General Jeffrey Hardy said. “The country has demonstrated its commitment to wiping out corruption, standing up against money laundering and strengthening laws to fight against counterfeiting and other forms of IP Theft.”
With successful initiatives to-date for the region, Hardy continues to adamantly encourage the region to combat illicit trade efforts through improved customs operations, rationalizing tax policies and overall cleaner operations in Free Trade Zones.
“Strengthening cooperation with neighboring countries and working with international organizations like INTERPOL can rapidly improve UAE’s ability to defend against illicit trade,” Hardy said. “Similarly, the government can shift public perception and understanding of the negative impacts of illicit trade by improving public awareness and education.”