Middle East countries urged to attract FDI

DUBAI Middle East nations should try to attract investments that are long term as the cornerstone of successfull foreign direct investment (FDI).

By A Staff Reporter

Published: Mon 7 Apr 2003, 12:43 PM

Last updated: Wed 1 Apr 2015, 7:37 PM

That was the message from Donald Johnston, Secretary General of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) yesterday.

Speaking in the run-up to the International Investment Summit to be held in Dubai in May he said: "While FDI is very important, it's not just about capital. It brings with it technology and management techniques which really do make a difference. The capital must Ôpatient' and in for the long haul. There is an important distinction in looking at FDI. What kind of FDI is it and how patient is it as capital? What are the elements that attract it?"

"The trick is to avoid 'hot money' which is easy to attract, but is equally easy to lose overnight as many South East Asian countries found out during the Asean crisis. The Middle East countries - new in the race to attract global FDI flows are better placed to learn from that experience, but they must be careful in their rush to attract foreign capital."

These and other issues will be discussed at the summit, to be held at the Grand Hyatt Dubai hotel from May 3 to 5, by the Dubai Development and Investment Authority (DDIA).

The event is being held under the patronage of General Shaikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai, UAE Defence Minister and DDIA President.

It is being organised by IIR Exhibitions and Conferences.

A host of multi-disciplinary experts including government leaders and officials, CEOs, investors and academics are due at the summit to outline methods of promoting long-term investment.

Mr Johnston added: "FDI is a critical issue for OECD members and especially for investment outside the OECD. Most direct investment takes place within the OECD which has been working very effectively over the years developing such areas as principles for corporate governance which we published in 1999 and which are enjoying widespread adoption throughout the non-OECD world, including China.

These are the kind of instruments once we see sustained application in other countries that give investors confidence."

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