The Arab regulatory authorities were able to work closely with the financial markets and governments to overcome the repercussions of the Corona crisis on the financial markets. Also, the Arab regulatory authorities have continued achieving significant developments over the past year in the areas of oversight and improving the legislations and enforcement actions. The UASA members continued to develop a framework and appropriate mechanisms to enhance their oversight and develop rules of transparency and disclosure, governance, education, and awareness to ensure the stability of the financial markets.
UASA members were also keen on taking concrete steps in the areas of development, modernization and upgrading skills and financial systems that govern their work in line with the best international practices and standards and took the necessary measures to encourage the use of modern financial technology to serve the capital markets.
The international developments at various levels impose on the Arab financial markets more challenges in many areas. These areas include confronting financial markets volatility, cyber risks and crimes, and liquidity risks, which requires the need to strengthening the financial infrastructure and the application of international principles in this area to enhance the resilience of the financial markets to various potential risks which witnessed a noticeable increase in the presence of the Coronavirus pandemic. Promoting sustainability principles that consider the best international practices, especially in the areas of governance, environment, and social responsibility, has become the focus of international attention. This requires the concerted efforts of the Arab capital markets with the various relevant parties to modernize the legislations to accommodate such developments and serves relevant projects and initiatives in our countries.
There is no doubt that the Union of Arab Securities Authorities plays a significant role in the development of Arab capital markets, through achieving the objectives of the Union, especially those related to unifying efforts and cooperation, to reach effective levels of oversight in Arab capital markets. It also seeks to achieve the best levels of harmony and compatibility with relevant laws and regulations applied in the Arab capital markets with the aim of protecting investors, developing legislation in accordance with the best international standards and enhancing self-capacity building in line with the strategic plans of the Union that were approved by the Union Board, which outlined the future path of the Union and its priorities in the coming years.
The situations experienced by the world over the last years and the successive crises that jolts the global economies have highlighted the importance of enhancing the capacities of regulatory bodies and promote cooperation among them. Therefore, the International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO) asked all member regulatory authorities to sign a Multilateral Memorandum of Understanding (MMOU) to boost international cooperation and coordination in areas of oversight of the capital markets, and to address issues of manipulation, fraud, money, laundry, and terrorism financing.
The global conditions require intensive efforts to enhance cooperation between Arab regulatory authorities to attain the highest harmony and consistency in the laws and regulations governing the Arab capital markets; increase coordination in regulating and controlling financial markets and develop the regulatory rules for the markets to achieve effective levels of oversight in the Arab capital markets.
The areas of potential cooperation and coordination among Arab Securities Authorities are numerous. They include, in respect to securities markets, issues such as listing, joint listing, oversight transactions of the financial markets, and trading, settlement and clearing systems. Areas of cooperation also include disclosure issues, electronic disclosure, trading systems, Collective Investment Schemes, dispute resolution, financial solvency of brokerage firms, Margin Trading, licensing, and inspection. This is in addition to cooperation in the areas of sustainability, financial technology, facing the risks of international crises, cyber risks and other important aspects related to the work of regulatory authorities.
The prospects of cooperation and coordination among members of the Union of Arab Securities Authorities are vast, but they can be further enhanced by practical mechanisms to facilitate taking specific steps towards achieving the maximum possible coordination and cooperation in line with the international principles and standards. There is no doubt that achieving this stage of consistency and harmony in the regulations governing the Arab capital markets will serve the best interest of these markets and the Arab countries and will facilitate the process of transferring funds across the Arab financial markets, especially that restrictions on capital movement among these markets had been abolished.
Commitment to best standards of integrity, fairness, transparency and excellence.