UAE Business Diplomacy Platform: Diplomatic and Economic Approaches

In the modern era of technologies, information, and global economy, economic interests and business diplomacy play a very important role for all countries. It is important to define specific economic interests coming from the country’s growth direction, and which will serve as a basis for the economic development. Another key feature is the existence of a strong economic diplomatic platform that is involved in the general foreign policy course. To build a successful economic diplomacy and to follow latest innovations, UAE need to update and identify new policy directions, methods, and improve its governmental regulations.

Global trade is changing its shape that can be traced from 1992 till 2014. Firstly, such regions as Developing Asia and Europe, Latin America, Middle East, and North Africa grew their exports; however, Developed Europe reduced its export. Secondly, destinations of the exports changed as well. If in 1992 Developed Asia, Pacific, and Europe had the most active flow of exports, in 2014, exports became more diversified and new regions, such as Developing Asia, Europe, Middle East, and North Africa, became more active in the international trade. As a result, UAE should develop more active relations with other regions, especially those that develop rapidly and prone to grow in the future (Developing Asia, South America, and Central Africa).

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UAE diplomats should also pay attention to the shifts in the GDP of different countries. If to look at the percentage share of the world real GDP, it appears that only Asia grows. At the same time, high employment increase in South America, Central Africa, and East Asia means that these regions will also have more consumers with higher income in some time. Moreover, gradual improvement of the economic freedoms in these regions and reduction of the MFN tariffs create more opportunities for trade. Thus, in prospective, new markets will appear with the broader number of consumers, who will have new needs and necessities, which will also influence the cooperation terms and demands as well.

Growth of the number of major world economies can become one of the threats to the economic stability. If in 1970-s G5 united five major industrial and prosperous countries, till 2007, they number increased to twenty, and now they are forming G20. Furthermore, at the beginning, this formation included predominantly only Western country, but now almost all world regions are represented in G20. Modern rising actors with developing economies, such as China, India, Brazil, South Africa, Australia, and Turkey, want more rights and equal representation. Thus, UAE should not only look at this situation as the developing multinationalism and equality, but also as a possible ground for the future disorder that can develop tension and confrontation.

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Modern business is a complex notion of merchandise trade, services, and internet-based business. Merchandise trade had overcome the GDP growth in 1985, but the financial crisis brought nominal GDP and merchandise trade to the same level in 2008. Besides, service market had also changed. Nowadays, more developing countries can provide high services for the lower price than in the North America or Developed Europe. Moreover, the richest TNC are not exclusively from the USA any longer, but from China, South Korea, and Japan. The same situation is developing with the largest internet companies, when the USA and China situates companies with the highest market capitalization. UAE officials should consider these trends and develop such focus areas as internet-based business, services development, and TNC founding.

Protectionism and discriminatory measures are other global traits that have been developing during the last 10 years. The USA is the most vivid example of the country that is implementing these measures, and after D. J. Trump became a president, he would probably grow them further. Moreover, India, Russian Federation, Argentina, and the UK also implement protectionist measures in their economies and foreign policy. UAE diplomats should take into the account the influence of globalization, open markets, and develop strong international trade relations based on them; however UAE diplomats should also consider drawbacks of such openness. National goods and local production protectionism can save the country authenticity and give economic basis for further innovations.

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County’s national brand creation, its building, and improvement constitute another important task in achieving successful business diplomacy. Nevertheless, UAE is a small country that needs branding, and it should cover goods and services produced in UAE, and outbound investments for a monolithic UAE image creation. As it was mentioned, “[small countries’] brand simply cannot be applied extensively enough to generate the same economic uplift as, for example, the US”, but it influences the general image of the country and gives other profits, for example good positions in the investment destinations ranking.

Governmental regulation of the trade and international economic cooperation influence business diplomacy effectiveness as well. Commerce and diplomacy interact and appear in four main ways: within the Ministry of Commerce (PRC, India, Germany), Ministry of Foreign Affairs (New Zealand, Brazil, Mexico), Junior ministers within MoFA (Canada, France, Finland), and Cabinet Members (the USA, the Netherlands, Singapore). UAE diplomats should create the needed ground for experience exchange and cooperation between all governmental institutions that are connected with and involved in the international trade and business. Such synergy would create ideas exchange and promote new approaches formation.

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Foreign investments promotion should also be one of the diplomats’ priorities. “Ease of Doing Business” factor should be strengthened as the main feature for investments attraction. Central focus should be turned to easiness of starting a business, managing the construction permits, getting electricity, registering property, getting credit for the business development, protecting minority investors, labor market regulation, and others. The positive side of UAE current policy is that Dubai and Abu Dhabi are two cities with the low tax jurisdiction, and that is a great advantage for the country. As a result, the rise of the foreign investments can lead to the strengthening of economic ties between UAE and other countries and built its image as a stable and reliable partner.

Another effective policy is the immigration promotion of core social groups. Educational and business visas, programs for young people who are talented entrepreneurs, scientist, and IT specialists can foster economic growth, foundation of TNC in UAE, promotion, and again image creation of a successful and fast developing country. UAE diplomats can establish partnership relations with leading universities in many countries, organize different forums, conferences, and exchange programs to promote UAE as a final destination for people who want to create their future and implement their ideas in real life. Such policy can lead to the growth of educated and talented people coming to UAE who can contribute towards international business development in the future.


In conclusion, in the modern fast changing world, UAE need to develop a new approach towards the international economic diplomacy. New policy directions, methods should be defined, as well as governmental regulation has to be improved. UAE diplomats should extend their perception of the global trade and look for new partners in such regions as Developing Asia, Latin America, and Central Africa. They also have to seek and plan new business ideas, use protectionism and discriminatory measures prudently, and create favorable investment environment. Moreover, another vital feature of every successful and prosperous country is its people, so UAE should invite talented people and create necessary environment for them to develop UAE. These steps would allow building a successful economic diplomatic platform.

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