Can the Middle East’s largest financial centre adapt to a world that is less globalised and less tolerant of tainted money?
中东最大的金融中心能否适应一个不那么全球化也不那么容忍脏钱的世界?

风暴中航行 Navigating the storm-书迷号 shumihao.com

One reason Dubai has got away with such foot-dragging is that it has been shrewd, for instance by paying lip service to reform at moments of international scrutiny, then doing nothing much when the pressure eases. Another reason is its strategic importance: the UAE is a key ally for Western powers. As a result, the FATF, over which those powers hold great sway, has pulled its punches.
迪拜拖延不改却不被追究,一个原因是它很精明,比如在国际社会聚焦之际口头许诺改革,但在压力缓解之后又无所作为。另一个原因是它的重要战略地位:阿联酋是西方强国的重要盟友。因此,受这些国家支配的FATF一直对迪拜手下留情。

There are signs the tide is starting to turn. The FATF issued a (by its standards) stinging report on the UAE earlier this year, and reportedly placed it under year-long observation to ensure that it implements recently passed AML laws. If it does not, it could be added to the FATF’s “grey list”, joining the likes of Syria and Zimbabwe. That is one naughty-step away from blacklisting, which would, in effect, require international banks to disengage.
有迹象表明趋势开始逆转。FATF今年早些时候发布了一份(按其自身标准来说)措辞严厉的报告,并据说将对迪拜观察一年,以确保它切实执行近年通过的反洗钱法律。如不执行,它可能会被列入FATF的“灰名单”,与叙利亚和津巴布韦等国同列。灰名单与黑名单仅一步之遥,它实际上会要求国际银行从当地退出。

It almost certainly will not come to that. Dubai’s rulers may seem impervious to international criticism, but “will act very quickly” to weed out the dodgiest business if Dubai’s financial links are threatened, says a well-connected Emirati financier.
几乎可以肯定事情最终不会走到这个地步。迪拜的统治者看似对国际批评无动于衷,但如果迪拜的金融连接受到威胁,他们“将很快采取行动”清除最见不得光的业务,一位人脉广阔的阿联酋金融家表示。

They are, he adds, also confident they can secure new sources of revenue if cleaning up cuts off business. He also notes that, as long as the UAE remains stable and its region volatile, it will benefit from capital flight. The Arab spring was high season for Dubai’s deposit-takers. Now they are doing brisk business with clients from Lebanon.
他补充说,如果清理市场中断了某些业务,他们也有信心可以获得新的收入来源。他还指出,只要阿联酋保持稳定而海湾地区继续动荡,它就会从资本外逃中受益。阿拉伯之春让迪拜收获了大量存款。现在,这里与黎巴嫩的客户之间生意繁忙。

Other new business takes more effort. The UAE’s political and business leaders have worked tirelessly over the past couple of years to strengthen links with China, signing deals in logistics, chemicals, finance and more. Not for them the moral high ground or bans on Huawei. They are beginning to reap the benefits. The DIFC is the regional headquarters for China’s four largest banks as well as several big firms. Though the UAE is not a key player in China’s Belt and Road initiative, Dubai is becoming the hub of choice for Chinese expansionism in the region. Ever ambitious, the DIFC has talked of tripling in size by 2030. Its burgeoning eastern connections make that seem a little less fanciful. ■
有些新业务需要费更多力气。过去两三年里,阿联酋的政商领袖不懈地加强与中国的联系,在物流、化工、金融等领域签署了一系列协议。他们才不管道德高地或华为禁令。如今他们开始收获回报。DIFC是中国的四大行以及几家大公司的地区总部。尽管阿联酋不是中国“一带一路”倡议的主要参与者,但迪拜正在成为中国扩张主义在该地区的首选枢纽。一贯雄心勃勃的DIFC大谈在2030年前将自身规模扩大两倍。它与东方迅速发展的联系让这个目标看起来不那么不切实际了。