DUBAI (Reuters) – Foreign direct investment (FDI) flows into the United Arab Emirates rose 10% in 2022 from the previous year to a record $23 billion, the United Nations trade body said in a report on Wednesday.
Globally, FDI fell 12% in the year, the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) report said in its World Investment Report 2023.
The UAE, the Arab world’s second-biggest economy, attracted around 60% of total FDI into the six-member Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) bloc, which more than doubled to $37 billion, UNCTAD said.
FDI flows into neighbouring Saudi Arabia, the region’s biggest economy and the world’s top crude exporter, dropped almost 60% to $7.9 billion in 2022.
The Gulf states, largely dependent on hydrocarbons for revenue, all have plans underway to diversify their economies and sources of income, and pull in foreign investment.
The UAE is among the most advanced in that process, having developed sectors such as financial services, trade and tourism as well as implementing social and business reforms.
Earlier this week, it announced the establishment of a new federal investment ministry to develop both a global and domestic strategy as it contends with growing economic competition from neighbours.
The UNCTAD report also said the UAE attracted the fourth-highest number of greenfield projects in the world last year.
The UAE is also a source of investment, with $25 billion in outward investments last year, up 10% on the previous year.
(Reporting by Rachna Uppal; Editing by David Holmes)