UAE 'Disappointed' over Inclusion in EU Tax Blacklist

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The United Arab Emirates on Thursday said it was "surprised and disappointed" over its inclusion on a European Union tax haven blacklist.

"We remain fully committed to maintaining the highest international standards of financial oversight and tax regulation and will continue to work with our international partners to deliver this," the finance ministry said in a statement.

The UAE, which boasts the second largest Arab economy and the most open and diversified market in the region, was among 17 nations placed by EU on the tax blacklist.

The list of non-EU states was unveiled on Tuesday, a year after the leak of the "Panama Papers" -- a massive amount of data from a prominent Panamanian law firm showing how the world's wealthy stash their assets.

"The UAE has worked to meet the European Union's requirements in terms of exchanging tax-related information," undersecretary of the finance ministry Younis Haji al-Khouri said.

"We have committed to a reform process which will be finalised by October 2018, and we are absolutely confident this will ensure the UAE is swiftly removed from the list," Khouri said.

The ministry also insisted that it has drafted, legislated and implemented significant reforms to ensure that "we remain in lock-step with our OECD partners and international best practice."