UAE: Foreign direct investment inflows grew 3.9% in 2021 to Dhs76bn
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UAE: Foreign direct investment inflows grew 3.9% in 2021 to Dhs76bn

UAE: Foreign direct investment inflows grew 3.9% in 2021 to Dhs76bn

The UAE aims to attract Dhs550bn worth of foreign investments to the country by 2030

Abu Dhabi

Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) inflows into the UAE grew 3.9 per cent year-on-year in 2021 to reach nearly Dhs76bn, according to the country’s Ministry of Economy.

The total FDI balance in the country increased to reach nearly Dhs630bn by the end of 2021, a 13.7 per cent growth over 2020, according to state news agency WAM.

Over the past ten years, FDI inflows have grown 116 per cent, while the total balance of those investments during the same period increased by 113 per cent.

The foreign investments received by the UAE were spread across sectors including traditional and renewable energy, oil and natural gas, financial sector, insurance, real estate, health, industry and agriculture.

Various new economic sectors such as digital economy, technology, innovation, artificial intelligence, Internet of things and blockchain, innovative medical technologies, high-speed transportation, virtual and augmented reality, robotics and self-driving cars also attracted FDI.

Meanwhile, the UAE’s outward FDI flows reached nearly Dhs82.6bn in 2021, with an annual growth of 19.1 per cent. It grew 789 per cent over the past ten years, which led to an increase in the UAE’s investments in foreign markets to reach nearly Dhs830.5bn by the end of 2021, a growth of 11.1 per over the same period in 2020.

Dr. Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, Minister of State for Foreign Trade, has said that initiatives such as the Projects of the 50, coupled with new legislation, are set to have a tangible impact in the long run on the flow and quality of foreign and domestic investments and the UAE’s economic growth.

In terms of its ability to attract FDI, the UAE advanced by nine ranks in 2020 compared to 2019 and ranked 15th globally. At the same time, it advanced six positions globally in terms of outward FDI flows to rank first in the Arab world and 13th globally, according to UNCTAD’s World Investment Report 2021.

The UAE also ranked first in the Arab world and 15th globally in the Kearney’s FDI Confidence Index for the year 2021, advancing four places compared to the year 2020, thus outperforming a number of major global economies including Singapore, Australia, Brazil and Finland, among others, in the general ranking of the index.

Abdullah bin Touq Al Marri, Minister of Economy, cited example of granting 100 per cent free and full foreign ownership of projects and investments in all economic sectors, with the exception of a limited number of activities with a strategic impact as driving FDI activities in the country.

Starting June 1 last year, foreign nationals were allowed to own 100 per cent of commercial companies within the country, eliminating the need for a UAE national to hold the majority share. Under new legal amendments, businesses can now be fully established by non-Emiratis.

Read: UAE to permit 100% foreign business ownership from June 1

“We will continue our efforts, following the UAE’s recent hosting of the Investopia summit that strengthened its position as a destination for future investments. It has set forth the goal to attract Dhs550bn worth foreign investments to the country by 2030, to eventually reach Dhs1tn by 2051,” added Al Marri.

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