Dubai Gestures at KP Compliance, More Than Idle Talk?

28/12/2015 12:24

UAE's Ministry of Economy (MoE), and the Dubai Multi-Commodities Centre (DMCC) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to support and enhance cooperation and coordination between the two sides concerning the supervision of imports, exports and transit of rough diamonds to and from the country, in line with the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme (KPCS) on the international trade of rough diamonds and in accordance with European Union Law. The MoU is part of joints efforts by the MoE and DMCC to ensure optimal implementation of the KPCS, under which official certificates are issued confirming that the exported rough diamonds are not linked with conflicts or wars to ensure legitimate trade of diamonds. Such efforts, however, should form the absolute baseline of KP participation, and the announcement of an UAE internal agreement will do little to alleviate the concerns of external stakeholders about Dubai's poor track record of KP compliance.

Abdullah bin Ahmed Al Saleh, Under-Secretary of the Ministry of Economy for Foreign Trade and Industry, asserted that the ministry is keen to cooperate with concerned parties to take all necessary measures to regulate and develop this industry in line with the best relevant international practices. Ahmed bin Sulayem, Executive Chairman of DMCC and the 2016 Kimberly Process Chair, also said that during its chairmanship of the KP, the UAE will "propose some ideas and initiatives." We have also heard these claims before. One could argue that until and unless the DMCC and MoE announce that they will act to curb the major concern of KP stakeholders, namely, UAE's widely-criticized practice of transfer pricing, announcements such as these pay little more than lip service to the real issues of KP compliance.