The UAE on Wednesday launched the second generation of foreign direct investment initiative (FDI) to attract 300 best companies specialized in future sectors and industries, especially digital, in the world within six to 12 months.
Thani Al Zeyoudi, Minister of State for Foreign Trade, told reporters in Dubai today that six entities will be participating in the initiative and they included Dubai International Financial Center, Dubai Financial Market, Dubai South, Dubai Multi Commodities Center, Emirates NBD and WIO, provided that the scope of the initiative expands to include institutions from the entire country.
The Minister said that the initiative is based on a set of incentives, including facilitating licensing procedures, accelerating access to the financial and banking system, attractive commercial and residential rents, granting operating companies discounts and reductions in various procedural fees, and simplifying the issuance of visas.
He added that the aim of the initiative is for the UAE to be one of the top 10 countries in attracting foreign direct investment in 2030.
FDI Grows by 4%
The FDI into the UAE registered a growth of 4% during 2021 ($20.7 billion) compared with 2020 ($19.88 billion) despite the repercussions of the COVID-19 pandemic that has cast a shadow on the volume of investment, trade and world economies. The cumulative balance of the FDI inflow increased, amounting to about $171.6 billion.
The UAE has signed with its trading partners approximately 106 agreements to protect and encourage further investments.
The UAE ranked 1st in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) in terms of FDI, accounting for 31% of the total FDI inflow to the region, which amounted to $66.6 billion in 2021.
“The recovery showed significant rebound momentum, with booming merger and acquisition (M&A) markets and rapid growth in international project finance because of loose financing conditions and major infrastructure stimulus packages,” the UNCTAD report said.
“However, the picture isn’t so positive now as “the global environment for international business and cross-border investment changed dramatically in 2022,” the report added.