UAE offers new opportunities for Swiss companies
03 August 2022 11:54
In its Economic Report 2022 – United Arab Emirates, the Embassy of Switzerland in the United Arab Emirates has revealed the opportunities currently available for Swiss companies in the region. Economically, the UAE could be able to reach its pre-pandemic GDP within the year 2022. Furthermore, various economic and political reforms were implemented last year, including in immigration policy. This will make it easier for Swiss high-tech companies to bring more skilled individuals to the local job market. In 2023, federal income tax of 9 percent is to be introduced. All this will help diversify the government’s revenue sources away from oil.
Many investments have already been made in those high-tech industries “where Switzerland excels”. Especially the fintech and cleantech markets have been growing in the last few years, as have digitalization, health, education and food security. As the UAE will host the United Nations Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP28) next year, it can be expected that the government will seek to strengthen the field of renewable energies. This field is also promising for Swiss companies. The Swiss Business Hub Middle East will identify relevant infrastructures projects “matching the competences of the Swiss industry”.
The free trade agreement between the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) and the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) continues to give Swiss companies “a comparative advantage” in their trade relations. Many of the initial difficulties associated with the implementation of the agreement in the UAE could be resolved.
If oil is excluded, Switzerland is the UAE’s third most important destination of its exports. Gold and jewelry account for 57.5 percent of Swiss exports and 96.4 percent of imports from the UAE. After years of decline, exports of Swiss pharmaceuticals increased by 24 percent, while watches were up 2 percent and perfumery rose 2 percent. Swiss exports to the Emirates (excluding gold) decreased by 28.1 percent, while exports of machinery decreased by 8 percent.