Christine Lagarde, Managing Director, International Monetary Fund, gives a speech at the Fourth Annual Arab Fiscal Forum. Also seen is Obaid Humaid Al Tayer, Minister of State for Financial Affairs, Ministry of Finance, United Arab Emiratesduring the World Goverbment Summit 2019 at Madinat Jumeirah, Dubai on February 9, 2019 Image Credit: Atiq Ur Rehman /Gulf News

Dubai: The UAE is keen not on being affected by the trade tensions China faces with the United States, Obaid Al Tayer, the UAE’s Minister of State for Financial Affairs, stressed on Saturday.

Al Tayer said that Arab countries have close trade ties with China, especially in the field of energy as Chinese demand for oil grows, adding that the region does not want to be affected by China’s disputes with the US.

Speaking in Dubai at the Arab Fiscal Forum, the minister said that the past few months have seen signs of slowdown in global economic growth as well as higher volatility in financial markets and in oil prices.

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He highlighted challenges such as a possible no-deal Brexit, trade tensions, tighter monetary policy, and geopolitical instability as factors that have contributed to economic uncertainty.

Protectionist policies

Al Tayer also warned against growing protectionist policies around the world, saying that they will put pressure on trade, ultimately hurting those countries adopting such policies.

In his speech, the minister called for developing legislation to facilitate the entry of global e-commerce platforms into the country to enhance competition and break up monopolies.