FDI flows to UAE rise 5% to Dh77 billion in 2021

The UAE was ranked 19th on the list of the world’s largest FDI recipient countries, according to the UN Conference on Trade and Development’s latest report



The US, China, Hong Kong, Singapore, Canada, Brazil, India, South Africa, Russian Federation and Mexico were the top 10 largest global FDI recipients last year. — File photo
The US, China, Hong Kong, Singapore, Canada, Brazil, India, South Africa, Russian Federation and Mexico were the top 10 largest global FDI recipients last year. — File photo
by

Waheed Abbas

Published: Thu 9 Jun 2022, 6:38 PM

Foreign direct investment flows into the UAE increased five per cent or $1 billion to $21 billion (Dh77 billion) last year as the Emirates maintained its ranking among the world’s top 20 FDI recipient nations.

According to the UN Conference on Trade and Development’s (UNCTAD) latest report released on Thursday, the UAE was ranked 19th on the list of the world’s largest FDI recipient countries. The UAE was also the largest FDI recipient in the Arab World.

However, the UAE’s ranking dropped when compared to 2020 when it was ranked 13th on the list of top FDI recipients.

The US, China, Hong Kong, Singapore, Canada, Brazil, India, South Africa, Russian Federation and Mexico were the top 10 largest global FDI recipients last year.

FDI into the Middle East increased 59 per cent to $55 billion in 2021 from $35 billion in 2020, mainly driven by a significant rise in cross-border M&As.

“While the UAE remained the largest recipient with stable flows at $20 billion, inflows more than tripled in Saudi Arabia and rose by 60 per cent in Turkey. In the UAE, DHL Global Forwarding (Germany) and Total (France) announced the building of a solar energy project in Dubai for $633 million. FDI inflows to Saudi Arabia rose to $19 billion from $5.3 billion in 2020 thanks to two large deals,” UNCTAD said in its annual World Investment Report 2022.

The UAE was ranked 17th for FDI outflows in 2021, amounting to $23 billion as compared to $19 billion in the previous year.

However, Middle East cross-border M&A purchases rose from -$1.3 billion to $7.7 billion.

Globally, the UNCTAD report said flows of foreign direct investment recovered to pre-pandemic levels last year, hitting nearly $1.6 trillion but the prospects for this year are grimmer.

Coming off a low base in 2020, global FDI flows rose 64 per cent to $1.58 trillion last year with momentum from booming merger and acquisition (M&A) activity and rapid growth in international project finance due to loose financing and major infrastructure stimulus packages.

“The need for investment in productive capacity, in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and climate change mitigation and adaptation is enormous. Current investment trends in these areas are not unanimously positive,” said Rebeca Grynspan, secretary-general of UNCTAD.

“It is important that we act now. Even though countries face very alarming immediate problems stemming from the cost-of-living crisis, it is important we are able to invest in the long term,” she said.

— waheedabbas@khaleejtimes.com


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