UAE, Saudi Arabia, Egypt draw $11.2 billion of FDI inflows - GulfToday

UAE, Saudi Arabia, Egypt draw $11.2 billion of FDI inflows


The photo has been used for illustraitve purposes.

The UAE, Saudi Arabia and Egypt drew up to 65.4 per cent of the total FDI inflows to the Arab nations in Q1-2020, according to a report released by the Arab Investment & Export Credit Guarantee Corporation (Dhaman) which valued the inward investments at $11.2 billion.

In the meantime, Saudi Arabia attracted 49 per cent of investments coming from Arab countries which were estimated at $4.9 billion during the same reference period. The UAE came second with a 38 per cent share, followed by Bahrain, 10 per cent, and Kuwait 1 per cent.

The coal, hydrocarbon, chemicals, renewables and telecommunications sectors in the Arab countries received 58 percent of the FDIs which originated in companies in 14 countries, 10 of which accounted for 79.5 percent of the inflows: Japan, US, France, the Philippines, Belgium, Saudi Arabia, Germany, Bahrain, China and India.

The UAE got 41 per cent of the number of projects launched region-wide in 2019, namely 1814 projects, followed by Saudi Arabia, 513, and Egypt, 476.

Separately, the 2020 Kearney Foreign Direct Investment Confidence Index, an annual survey ranking the markets likely to attract the most investment in the next three years, saw the UAE advance to 19th place out of 25 markets, compared to the 21st place in 2017.

The ranking shows the Emirati government strategies to diversify its economy, apply innovative methods in different sectors, and encourage business growth, according to a press release.

The UAE government’s policies set in 2019 to achieve these strategies, including the introduction of 100% foreign ownership in 13 economic sectors, and the country’s boosting technology sector, make the UAE one of the world’s most attractive FDI destinations.

Commenting on the ranking, the partner at the National Transformations Institute of Kearney Middle East, Rudolph Lohmeyer, said, “Investors clearly anticipate that these fundamentals combined with an extremely effective response to the crisis will enable the country to emerge strongly from the current situation.”

“The UAE is also expected to benefit from the entry into force of the Africa Continental Free Trade Area, AfCFTA, through new trade opportunities with African countries,” Lohmeyer added.

The 2020 index has selected only three emerging economies, namely China, Brazil, and the UAE.

The Ministry of Economy has said that the UAE is among the most active countries in the Middle East and North Africa in providing financial and cash incentives to support its markets, banks and economic activities in recent months.

In its recent study, the ministry explained that the incentives and measures launched by the country have been diverse in terms of concerned authorities and beneficiaries.

The authorities providing such incentives include federal and local authorities, and beneficiaries are not limited to official economic entities and large private companies but are also individuals, entrepreneurs and small and medium-sized enterprises, it added.

The incentives include a monetary expansionary policy and a support plan by the Central Bank of the UAE, as well as incentives presented by the Federal Government to support economic activities, and incentives provided by the local governments of every emirate.

In its study, the ministry presented recommendations and initiatives suggested by the “Cooperation and Economic Development Committee” to support various sectors, including an initiative aimed at reducing telecommunications fees and information costs by 50 percent or to cost price.

The recommendations also include continued economic and financial support for economic sectors after 2020, and regularly revising economic packages provided to various entities. The United Arab Emirates drew up to Dhs111.7 billion in FDI during the period from 2016 through 2018, bringing its overall volume of foreign investments to circa Dhs511 billion.

According to the World Investment Report 2019, released by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, the UAE ranked 27th globally in attracting FDI flows in 2018, three positions up from its 2017’s classification by UNCTAD. Overall, the report said, the UAE received in 2018 direct foreign investments of more $10.4 billion, maintaining lead as the top FDI recipient in Arab world by drawing 36 percent of inflows, and ranking second in West Asia by attracting 33.4 per cent of FDIs into this region.

The report corroborates investor confidence in the country’s business-friendly environment and reinforces the prestigious position boasted by the UAE as a key regional investment hub.


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