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UAE, Qatar highly competitive in attracting FDI: Report

The UAE and Qatar are looking highly competitive, as far as business environment’s go, in attracting foreign direct investment (FDI) among the Gulf countries, according to an annual AIM FDI report.

The competitiveness of the business environments of Bahrain, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia are expected to be very similar by 2020, whilst the economies of the UAE and Qatar are to become considerably more competitive. The UAE’s expected strong performance should be associated with enhanced political stability, more liberal government regulation, increased freedom to compete for private enterprises, better price controls and the protection of minority shareholders.

Over 2015, the UAE maintained its dominance with respect to attracting FDI within the GCC region. Over the period 2008-2014, the UAE already captured 55.7 per cent of all FDI projects into the GCC region, which increased to 61.6 per cent over 2015.

The UAE comes close to Saudi Arabia as largest attraction of FDI capex. Both countries saw their portions of FDI capex channeled to the GCC region increasing over 2015. Saudi Arabia attracted 43.7 per cent of all FDI capex direct to the GCC countries over 2015 – which can partly be attributed to Saudi Arabia’s appeal to capital-intensive FDI in the oil and gas industry. Meanwhile the UAE’s share increased considerably from 29.6 per cent in the period 2008-2014 to 39.3 per cent in 2015. The strong position maintained by Saudi Arabia may be related to the fact it opened its stock market to foreign investors last year.

Courtesy: The Khaleej Times

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