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Mon 23 Jan 2012 08:02 AM

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UAE to liberalise trade to tackle high food prices

Gulf state pledges to scrap monopolies in eggs, livestock and other essential food items

UAE to liberalise trade to tackle high food prices
The move is aimed at tackling monopolies in key food items, the ministry said

The United Arab Emirates cabinet announced on Sunday it
would liberalise trade in 12 commodities, saying this would help market
stability, state news agency WAM reported.

"The 12 items that are being liberalised include
livestock and dairy products, fats and oils, honey, eggs, fruit juices, salt,
yeast, animal feed, detergents and hygiene products," UAE Economy Minister
Sultan bin Saeed al-Mansouri said.

He said the move would strengthen the competitiveness of the
UAE economy by curbing monopolistic practices and avoiding unjustified price
rises.

"We will work in cooperation with various retail
outlets to launch initiatives that will help reduce prices. We have received
suggestions for reducing prices of about 1,000 items this year," Mansouri
said, adding prices were being monitored.

The UAE, a major oil producer that has avoided the Arab
Spring unrest that rocked many other countries in the region, fixed the cost of
about 400 foodstuffs
and household products at 70 outlets in June last year.

Rising food prices helped fuel protests that toppled the
rulers of Tunisia and Egypt early last year.

The UAE has said it will spend $1.6bn to improve
infrastructure in less-developed northern emirates. It has raised military
pensions by 70 percent and introduced bread and rice subsidies.

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Abdul Al-khaddar 7 years ago

Unjustified food prices are prevelent in the GCC and it is wonderful that the UAE government has taken such a proactive role in controlling the price of necessities in this market. In other parts of the GCC like, for example, the Kuwait government has done nothing to curb the high prices in the market which has caused growing poverty levels in the country from the spiralling prices of basic necessities. It is a government's job to maintain price ceilings in the market, so that the governing public does not suffer from unjustified price fixing which will cause a rise in crime in the society.

Business Man 7 years ago

Can the same logic be applied to the telecommunication industry please so we can get some decent service and prices?