The United Arab Emirates has slammed a European Union decision to add it to a tax haven blacklist despite the Gulf state's efforts to meet EU requirements.
The EU on Tuesday added 10 countries to the list, created in 2017 as part of efforts to battle tax evasion by the wealthy. The UAE was among the new countries included.
“This inclusion was made despite the UAE's close cooperation with the EU on this issue and ongoing efforts to fulfil all the EU's requirements,” said an official statement cited by state news agency WAM late Tuesday.
“The UAE remains firmly committed to its long-standing policy of meeting the highest international standards on taxation,” it said.
The UAE “will continue to update its domestic legislative framework in this regard”, it said.
The EU had included the UAE, the second-largest, most diversified and open Arab economy, on the initial 2017 list, but later removed it after Emirati officials assured their European counterparts it would meet EU requirements.
Its inclusion on the revised list came despite the objections of EU member Italy, a major destination for Emirati investment.
The UAE statement argued that it has “shared with the EU a detailed timeline of actions that it is currently implementing in accordance with its sovereign legal process and constitutional requirements". The blacklist was first drawn up in 2017 in the wake of scandals including the Panama Papers and LuxLeaks, which had pushed the EU into doing more to fight tax evasion by multinationals and the rich.
The latest decision also moved seven countries, including the UAE's neighbour Oman, back from a grey list because reform commitments had not been met.