UAE nets FDI worth $1.8bn last year

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An aerial view of Dubai. Photo - AP

The UAE’s volume of foreign direct investment (FDI) soared to $1.8 billion in 2011 while investments in the entire GCC region totalled $8.64 billion, a top Emirati economist said in a statement.

Mohammed Omar Abdullah, undersecretary at the Department of Economic Development (DED) said the upcoming fifth annual UAE Global Investment Forum, which is scheduled to open at the Emirates Palace in Abu Dhabi, will further boost investment in the country. More than 300 delegates, including notable industry leaders, financiers, investors and policy makers from over 20 countries will take part in a range of panel discussions, presentations and interviews in the forum, which is being organised by the Institutional Investor Conferences.

Abdullah said the total volume of foreign non-oil trade in Abu Dhabi grew at a rate of 27.7% and amounted to AED139.4 billion ($37.94bn) in the year 2011 compared to AED109.2 billion ($29.73bn) in 2010.

This figure indicates that investment in the foreign trade sector is on the rise, something that ensures a prestigious competitive ranking for the country and broadens the range of FDIs.

The DED official emphasised that Abu Dhabi is showcasing the forum as a major opportunity to exhibit major investment projects as part of the government’s endeavour to attract more capital for investment.

The forum will also help project the government’s eagerness to continue with implementing major developmental projects that ensure proper opportunities for key international firms and investors to increase their investment shares in the country and attract foreign capital.

“This, however, requires putting in more efforts in order to reinforce the standing of the UAE in general and Abu Dhabi in particular, as an international investment center able to compete internationally in the areas of trade and investment,” he added.

He said the continuous success of such major events over the past years reflected the UAE’s genuine interest in increasing the volume of foreign investment in the country in spite of the hard regional and international economic circumstances.

“There is increasing focus on Abu Dhabi as a center for business in the Middle East. Stability, liquidity and location are all playing an important part in developing regional and international investment opportunities,” Mahmoud Ibraheem Al-Mahmood, CEO of ADS Holding and chairman of ADS Securities, said in an interview.

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