Local Business

Booster shot for Emiratis investing abroad

Issac John /Dubai
issacjohn@khaleejtimes.com Filed on October 11, 2020 | Last updated on October 11, 2020 at 10.23 pm
The UAE is considered today as the largest Arab investor abroad, and it has more than 34 per cent of the total investment exported abroad from the Middle Eastern countries, ranking first above all Arab nations.

UAE to adopt crucial initiatives to safeguard investor interest and serve nation's economic orientations, vision

The UAE is committed to supporting Emirati investors abroad by adopting key initiatives that would "safeguard their interests and serve the nation's economic orientations and vision", the country's Minister of Economy said on Sunday.

Abdulla bin Touq Al Mari said the government would help open up new markets for Emirati investors and facilitate them to find ideal opportunities and projects, "especially in the priority sectors that serve the country's efforts in the food security sector".

The government will also encourage Emirati investors in attracting and localising advanced technology, as well as supporting digital transformation, he added.

The minister, in a virtual address at the 25th meeting of the UAE International Investors Council (UAEIIC), said the government is determined to initiate a clear plan outlining the future goals of the council that align with UAE's economic vision. "We will work to support and adopt all initiatives that protect the interests of Emirati investors abroad," Al Mari said.

Dr Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, Minister of State for Foreign Trade, and Jamal Saif Al Jarwan, secretary-general of the council, also took part in the meeting that lined up members of the council, investors and private sector representatives.

"Emirati investments abroad represent one of the main enablers that the state relies on to achieve the ambitious economic goals in the next 50 years, through their role in transferring knowledge, diversifying the economic base, opening and developing commercial and investment partnerships for Emirati investors in various foreign markets," Al Mari said.

"Despite the transformations and changes taking place in the global economy as a result of the Covid-19 crisis, many new opportunities have emerged, which we will work on to invest and make use to serve our economic orientations and vision." Supporting and motivating national companies are considered an integral part of the country's initiatives and efforts to fulfill the requirements of comprehensive and sustainable development, he added.

Dr Al Zeyoudi said that Emirati investments abroad have played a major role in enhancing the reputation and competitiveness of the national economy, especially in vital economic and industrial sectors such as the aviation industry, air transport services, logistics, ports, financial and banking sectors, real estate, telecommunications and technology information.

"The UAE is considered today as the largest Arab investor abroad, and it has more than 34 per cent of the total investment exported abroad from the Middle Eastern countries, ranking first above all Arab countries, and one of the top 20 global countries investing abroad during 2019," he said.

The value of outward investment from the UAE reached $155.5 billion in 2019, an 11 per cent jump compared to 2018.

"We will work to enhance the role of the UAEIIC in coordination and follow up with various institutions at the local and international levels to diversify markets, explore new opportunities and create partnerships that serve the UAE's economic development vision," Dr Al Zeyoudi said.

The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development's (Unctad) World Investment Report 2019 revealed that foreign direct investment outflows from the UAE increased $1 billion year-on-year to $15 billion in 2018, making the country the 19th-largest foreign direct investor in 2018, improving one place.

Greenfield investments from the UAE to Africa more than doubled from $1.81 billion to $3.93 billion, while investments to developing Asian countries more than tripled from $6.18 billion in 2017 to $22.1 billion last year.

In 2019, the UAE surpassed Turkey to become the largest recipient of foreign investment in the Middle East as the FDI inflow jumped over 34 per cent to $14 as compared to $10.4 billion in the previous year following major investments by US private equity firms in Abu Dhabi's energy sector, according to Unctad.

"The UAE will continue to play a leading economic role in the Middle East region with Dubai as a pivotal hub in the global economy and a centre for business. The UAE should also continue to constantly improve strategic business factors such as investment facilitation, services and cost of doing business to have world-class standards in the UAE and compete with other leading business destinations," said Fahad Al Gergawi, CEO of Dubai FDI.

He added that new opportunities for investors are arising from the UAE's recently-introduced FDI law, and the prospects for further future growth make Dubai and the UAE increasingly attractive.

The UAEIIC, established in 2009 to bolster the nation's economic development process and support Emirati investments abroad, also seeks to help them overcome various challenges facing their investments through regular coordination with the competent government agencies.

- issacjohn@khaleejtimes.com


Issac John

Editorial Director 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.

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