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UAE Remains Leading Capital Exporter in Arab Region With Oman Set to Create 3,000 More Jobs and Qatar Budget Details Record High Public Spending

Middle East : 05 April 2013

UAE Leads the Way With $55.5 Billion in Capital Exports Since 1980

The UAE reported the highest levels of capital exports in the Arab region, pumping out almost $55.5 billion in the last 32 years. This amount totals almost 31 percent of the total FDI outflow for the Arab region from 1980 to 2011.

Saudi Arabia emerged in second place, according to figures from UNCTAD (or the UN Conference on Trade and Development). FDI outflow for the kingdom totaled about $26.5 billion.

Kuwait came in third, recording about $22.5 billion in FDI outflow, while Qatar reported almost $18.5 billion.

Libya recorded $16.8bn in capital exports, while Bahrain reported almost $7.8 billion, Lebanon came in at $7.55bn and Egypt rounded out the list of leaders at $6.07 billion in FDI outflow.

Morocco reported $2.09 billion in FDI outflow, while most other Arab nations recorded just millions in capital exports.

According to the report, only developed nations surpassed the UAE figures, and the second largest Arab economy performed well above other developing nations as a capital exporter.

The data covered FDI, and capital channeled by ADIA was excluded. A globally recognized SWF, ADIA includes assets from $300 to $800bn.

The figures for FDI inflow showed Saudi Arabia on top, receiving about $186.8bn over the same time period. The UAE recorded $85.4 billion in FDI inflow, Egypt received $72.6bn, and Morocco reported $46.3bn in FDI inflow. Tunisia and Qatar also came up high on the list, with $31.4bn and $30.4bn, respectively.

FDI inflow in Jordan was reported at $23.3bn, with Sudan at $22bn, Algeria at $21.7bn and Libya at $16.3bn. Bahrain and Oman came in at $15.9bn and $15bn, respectively.

3,000 Jobs to Open in Oman Over the Next Decade

The cornerstone at Muscat’s Innovation Complex is scheduled for installation on April 7, according to statements by TRC (or the Research Council). Secretary General of TRC, Dr Hilal bin Ali al Hinai noted several reference terms in discussing the role of this complex, while TRC Director of Scientific Precincts, Dr Al Khabouri stated that the complex remains a vital Council-sponsored project aimed to encourage scientific innovation and research within Oman.

Available land for the project covers 280,000 sq. m., and construction will begin close to the Sultan Qaboos University’s Cultural Centre. The Innovation Complex should provide around 3,000 employment opportunities over the coming decade, according to Al Khabouri.

He stated that private sector participation will drive the project, as that sector partners with the public sector and those within the research and academic industries. All parties will work within the system to apply academic-approved research and move it through to commercialization in the science and technology industries.

Al Khabouri also noted that this project creates an environment of integration within these three sectors. That integration is expected to create jobs for Oman’s technically qualified youth.

Forecasts place completion of the first stage during the Q4 2014. That initial stage of the Innovation Complex includes focused research within several areas, such as health, the environment, water and enhanced oil extraction. Marketing for the project continues to focus on private sector participation and the involvement of global firms working with Omani research facilities and institutions.

Qatari Budget Marks New High for Public Spending

The latest budget in Qatar included a record high level of public spending, with QR 210 billion (or $57.9 billion) marked for public spending, an 18 percent increase over previous budgetary figures.

After addressing fears that higher levels of spending would push prices up, the government noted that effective monetary and fiscal measures would be used to monitor and manage inflation in the coming period.

Much of this increase is marked for public projects, where a maximum 40 percent increase pushed previous figures of QR 62.11bn to QR 74.88bn.

Education received more funding, with a 15 percent increase reflecting Qatar’s move toward a knowledge-focused economy.

The education sector accounts for 3.8 percent of Qatar’s GDP, according to a statement from His Excellency Yousuf Hussein Kamal, Qatari minister of Economy & Finance. This funding increase moves the nation ahead.

As forecasted, healthcare will also receive more money, with 13 percent more spending in the new budget. Projects include Al Wakra Hospital and Sidra Hospital, as well as several institutions specializing in the health of children and women.

Support for non-energy sectors is the goal, as the nation moves toward economic diversification.

The Emir’s degree endorsed the recent general budget that covers the time period from April 1, 2013 up to March 31, 2014.

Qatar’s revenues should increase six percent over last year’s figures, moving from QR 206.27 billion to QR 218 billion. A significant portion of this increase will result from taxes. Many corporation “tax holidays” end within the coming fiscal year, resulting in higher tax revenues for the state.

An estimated surplus of QR 7.4 billion is lower than the previous year’s surplus of QR 27.7 billion. Development spending and lower oil prices account for this decline.

The latest budget figures assume the same $65 per barrel oil price as the previous budget. Should the average price of crude be higher in global markets, the surplus will reflect that change.

Current expenditures are 27 percent higher than the previous year, set at QR 77.52 billion, and wages have increased by 24 percent to reach QR 44.26 billion.

Capital expenditures are also higher, up 9 percent from the previous level of QR 11.35 billion to reach QR 13.93 billion.

The Minister of Economy & Finance noted that the recent budget moves Qatar toward the goals set out in both the National Development Strategy (covering 2011 to 2016) and the National Vision 2030.

Paul Holdsworth, Staff Writer, Gulf Jobs Market News
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