'UAE must focus on attracting investment from UK'

DUBAI — The UAE must focus on attracting foreign direct investment (FDI) from the UK, which is known for its technologically advanced, innovative and knowledge-based economy, a business group said in a study.

By Jose Franco

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Published: Tue 11 Dec 2007, 9:27 AM

Last updated: Sat 4 Apr 2015, 9:35 PM

UK manufacturers in hi-tech and energy intensive industries such as chemicals and pharmaceuticals, glass and paper may well be targeted by the UAE to install facilities and produce here, the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry said.

The UAE, which aims for a similar knowledge-based economy as the UK's, has a "competitive advantage" with regard to these industries because labour and energy are more expensive in the UK.

"In this respect, attracting FDI from the UK may be a primary focus for the UAE in order to benefit from the positive technological and knowledge spillovers from UK firms," the Dubai Chamber said in its study, UAE-UK Economic Cooperation Prospects.

It said that the UK, the second-largest economy in Europe after Germany, is an important gateway for UAE trade to the whole of Europe.

It added that the UAE exported $1.34 billion worth of goods to the UK last year, making it a significant net importer of UK products. UK's imports from the UAE reached $515.8 billion in 2005 while the UAE imported $6.7 billion worth goods from the UK. The UK is also Europe's biggest and the world's second-largest host of FDI, having a quarter of the total inward FDI in countries belonging to the European Union, the Dubai Chamber said.

It noted the UAE's "unique position" because a big amount of its business has come from FDI, although it is a new and developing economy compared to the UK.

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