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UAE jumps position in global Foreign Direct Investment index

Isaac John
Filed on June 5, 2014

The UAE has risen steadily in the index since 2012 after a slight dip in confidence experienced after the global financial crisis a few years ago.

The UAE has moved up to become the world’s 11th most sought-after foreign direct in-vestment destination, underscoring the rising glob-al investor confidence in the Arab world’s second largest economy.

The improved ranking, up from the 14th position in 2013, comes close on the heels of a prestigious accolade that ranked the UAE as number one in the world for its most efficient government, the strongest decision-making process and the lightest bureaucracy.

In the widely recognised Foreign Direct Investment Confidence Index 2014 released on Tuesday by global management consulting firm A.T. Kearney, the UAE is the only country from the Middle East to figure in the top 25 attractive FDI destinations in the world.

The US maintained its first place followed by China and Canada in the index. India ranks seventh after the UK (fourth), Brazil (fifth) and Germany (sixth).

The UAE has risen steadily in the index since 2012 after a slight dip in confidence experienced after the global financial crisis a few years ago.

“In addition, 39 per cent of global investors responded that the UAE as an FDI destination had a more favourable outlook than in 2012. This is in the same range as countries such as Brazil and China, and significantly higher than several European countries,” A.T. Kearney said.

Anshu Vats, Partner at A.T. Kearney Middle East, said the UAE’s traditional strengths of well-developed infrastructure, talent base, strategic location, and ease of doing business offers international investors easy access to many of the world’s fastest-growing markets.

“Additionally, the UAE has developed investment opportunities, diversifying the industrial base and attracting innovative SME industries to the region. These efforts have delivered very positive results: Dubai securing Expo 2020, and Abu Dhabi’s 2030 strategy being tangible examples of the value proposition the country has presented to international industrial and investment communities. Continued progression of this strategy could see the UAE progress even further on its upward trend in international confidence,” Vats said.

The findings bode well not only for the top ranking countries, but for the global economy: nearly four out of five respondents are more optimistic about the global economy than they were a year ago.

The UAE, which is also ranked 19th overall on the Global Competitiveness Index out of 148 countries by World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness report, is expected to attract FDI of $14.4 billion in 2014, 20 per cent higher than 2013, according to a top government official.

Last year, the country also recorded a 20 per cent year-on-year growth in FDIs that reached $12 billion, according to Abdulla Al Saleh, Undersecretary, UAE Ministry of Economy, Foreign Trade Sector.

The UN nited Nations Conference on Trade and Development forecasts that global FDI flows, which rose 11 per cent to $1.46 trillion in 2013, will rise gradually in 2014 and 2015, to $1.6 trillion and $1.8 trillion respectively, as global economic growth gains momentum which may prompt investors to turn their cash holdings into new investments.

issacjohn@khaleejtimes.com





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