Source: Khaleej Times
The GCC received 58 per cent of the total accumulated foreign direct investment, or FDI, of $284 billion that flowed into the Arab countries between 2001 and 2010, United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, or Unctad, said.
The UAE was the second top recipient of FDI in the Arab world at $75 billion in 10 years after Saudi Arabia at $154 billion, Supachai Panitchpakdi, secretary-general of Unctad said at the World Investment Forum in Doha.
The third largest Arab recipient of FDI was Egypt at $53 billion. North African countries accounted for 28 per cent of the total FDI flow into the Arab world while other Arab countries claimed 14 per cent over the 10-year period. Panitchpakdi said although FDI flow had grown robustly to stay above the pre-crisis average, it was still far short of the 2007 historical levels.
According to Unctad statistics, FDI into and out of Arab countries surged in the early 2000s, but has declined since the world financial crisis took hold in 2009.
FDI flow into Arab countries had climbed steeply in the early years of the new Millennium on the back of high economic growth and implementation of economic reforms and privatisations, it said. From an annual average of $3.8 billion, FDI flow into countries in the region reached a record $96 billion in 2008, with the GCC serving as the main magnet.
Unctad said outward FDI from Arab countries also jumped, driven by financial surpluses from oil revenues. Outbound FDI totalled $169 billion during 2001-2010, of which 82 per cent came from the GCC countries. Outbound FDI from the UAE over this period was $54 billion, Kuwait ($40 billion) and Qatar ($26 billion).
“The UAE has always been amongst the top recipients of FDI in the region and amongst the best ranked in terms of ease of doing business and, accordingly, is well positioned to attract new business, which will have a positive impact on the real estate sector directly and indirectly,” Global said.
The UAE economy grew by an average of 1.6 per cent between 2008-2011 while Saudi registered GDP growth of 3.9 per cent and Kuwait 2.4 per cent.