The UAE expects to attract foreign direct investments (FDIs) worth $14.4 billion in 2014, up almost 20 per cent from its current FDI levels, a senior government official said.
“In 2013, the UAE was able to attract three times more FDIs than expected and is the third most attractive country in West Asia for FDIs according to UNCTAD figures,” said Abdulla Al Saleh, undersecretary, UAE Ministry of Economy, Foreign Trade Sector.
“The UAE also attracts around 40 per cent of the FDIs flowing into the GCC and we think we can increase that number.”
Saleh said that the UAE attracted FDIs worth $12 billion in 2013. He further expects investments to grow due to the large number of tourists projected to come into the country during Expo 2020.
Speaking ahead of the Annual Investment Meeting (AIM) 2014, the official said that the emirates’ successful bid would whet the appetite of foreign investors to invest in the UAE’s service sector this year.
“In the UAE, economy is back on track on the growth path, thanks to a balanced national strategy based on our comparative advantages and supportive policies towards entrepreneurship and private sector development,” said Saleh.
“Increased government spending and a significant resurgence in tourism, transport and trade have contributed to this upswing.”
He added that the UAE offers an ideal economic and investment environment, supported by a modern integrated structure of airports and ports, communications, transportation and logistics services.
Saleh said that the forum would examine legislations and regulatory framework required to facilitate more investments in the UAE.
The official also said that investment opportunities with Iran would be discussed during the forum.
Recently in a televised interview, Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Dubai’s ruler urged the international community to ease sanctions on Iran.
The UAE also aims to become the best in terms of ease of doing business worldwide, as per the National Agenda that outlines the country’s objectives over the next seven years.
The country was ranked 14th on the latest A. T Kearney Global Foreign Direct Investment Confidence Index (FDICI), which measures present and future prospects for FDI flows. The UAE’s investor friendly legislation and easy access to fast growing Middle East and African markets have made it a hub for foreign investments, the report said.