(MENAFN- Khaleej Times) GCC states led the Arab world in terms of foreign direct investment inflows during 2016.
A report issued by the Kuwait-based Arab Investment and Export Credit Guarantee Corporation reveals that the UAE topped the list of FDI recipients with around $9 billion (Dh33.1 billion), followed by Egypt and Saudi Arabia in second and third places, respectively.
It said FDI inflows to Arab nations increased by 25 per cent to reach $30.8 billion in 2016 compared to $24.6 billion the year before.
"Total investments injected by no less than 773 new foreign investment firms in Arab countries in 2016 reached $94 billon, as more than 115,000 new jobs were created as a result," the report said.
The investment index focuses on countries' ability to attract FDIs based on the weaknesses and strengths of each nation's economy and existing markets.
A total of 91 Arab companies launched investment projects outside their borders but in other neighbouring Arab countries at a total cost of $22.2 billion.
Egypt received the lion's share of intra-Arab investments or 60.4 per cent of the total, followed by Saudi Arabia at 23.4 per cent and Jordan at 3.4 per cent.
The UAE, which recorded a 2.2 per cent surge in FDI in-flow, is ranked 12th on the list of top source countries for FDI flow for the period from 2017 through 2019, according to the World Investment Report 2017 released by the UN Conference on Trade and Development (Unctad).
According to the Unctad, UAE-bound FDI until the end of 2016 accounted for 16.9 per cent of total FDI to Middle East nations, with the nation claiming 26.5 per cent of total FDI to GCC by the end of 2016.
The UAE came second only to Turkey on the list of top countries attracting FDI in the region, accounting for 32.3 per cent of total FDIs coming to the region during 2016, which are estimated at $27.8 billion.
The UAE comes on top of GCC states on the same list, claiming 50.2 per cent of the total FDI, estimated at $17.9 billion during the same year.
"The UAE boasts a stable investment-conducive and business-friendly environment supported by resilient infrastructure and robust legislation that woo investors from all over the world," said Sultan bin Saeed Al Mansouri, UAE Minister of Economy. With regards to investments aboard, the UAE came on top of Middle Eastern countries, accounting for 50.9 per cent of total foreign investment flows from the region to other countries.
The new Unctad report reveals that in 2016, the US remained the largest recipient of FDI, attracting $391 billion in inflows (up 12 per cent from the year before), followed by the UK with $254 billion, vaulting from its No.14 position in 2015 on the back of large cross-border mergers and acquisitions deals. China was third with inflows of $134 billion, a slim decrease of one per cent from the previous year.
In 2017, global flows are forecast to increase to almost $1.8 trillion, continuing to $1.85 trillion in 2018 - still below the 2007 peak.
"Policy uncertainty and geopolitical risks could hamper the recovery, and tax policy changes could significantly affect cross-border investment," Unctad Secretary-General Mukhisa Kituyi said.
Issac John Associate Business Editor of Khaleej Times, is a well-connected Indian journalist and an economic and financial commentator. He has been in the UAE's mainstream journalism for 35 years, including 23 years with Khaleej Times. A post-graduate in English and graduate in economics, he has won over two dozen awards. Acclaimed for his authentic and insightful analysis of global and regional businesses and economic trends, he is respected for his astute understanding of the local business scene.
Legal Disclaimer: MENAFN provides the information “as is” without warranty of any kind. We do not accept any responsibility or liability for the accuracy, content, images, videos, licenses, completeness, legality, or reliability of the information contained in this article. If you have any complaints or copyright issues related to this article, kindly contact the provider above.