Flexible policies and lucrative market access to attract growing FDI for UAE
At a recent address at the Davos Economic Forum, UAE Minister of Economy and Planning, Shaikha Lubna Al Qasimi, stated that the country expects its flexible legislation to continue to attract a growing number of foreign investors.
Fifteen free trade areas in the UAE allow for 100 percent foreign ownership, free taxes in all sectors except for banking, unrestricted repatriation of capital, free labor movement and negligible barriers to entry also add to the appeal of the UAE, according to <i>WAM</i>.
Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in the UAE increased to some $ 9 billion in 2004.
Sheikha Lubna stressed that access to 300 million consumers in the Arab world was also one of the major attractions for such foreign in vestment.
“FDI brings in transfer of knowledge and expertise in areas that are not the country’s core competencies. It also creates employment, partnership with foreign investors and opens new market opportunities due to the creation of new networks,” she said.
"FDI also sustains investment confidence and indirectly drives reforms," she added.
Oil exporters, according to Sheikha Lubna, have the potential of attracting an estimated $700 billion in oils sales in 2005 to foreigners, including such countries as Russia and Norway.
Quoting the <i>Economist</i>, she stated that the current account surplus of oil exporters reached $400 billion, "more than four times as much as in 2002."
Such a rise, she explained, was due to increased demand from China and India.
The UAE boasts the third largest reserve of oil in the world, and ranks second place in the Arab world.
Oil reserves grew from 626 billion cubic meters in the mid-seventies to more than 6 trillion cubic meters currently.