Gulf Industries Attract Investments Worth $84bn in 2000
Industrial investment in the Gulf region totaled 84.2 billion dollars last year, reported the Gulf Daily on Saturday.
A total of 7,487 units were operational last year, according to the January issue of the Gulf Industrial Bulletin, issued by the Doha-based Gulf Organization for Industrial Consulting (Goic).
Of these, 1,366 units were joint ventures with a total investment of 39.4 billion dollars and employed a total of 161,677 people.
A focus on knowledge-based industries could bring back an estimated 1,000 billion dollars of Gulf funds invested overseas, said the Daily.
Currently, the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) attracts only a tiny portion of global foreign direct investment (FDI).
The region attracted three percent (or $25.7b) of $856.4b of FDI inflows worldwide in 1999, the Daily said.
Of the global FDI flows, 73.5 percent went to the developed countries and 24 percent to developing countries, mainly Asian countries.
Without doubt, foreign investment contributes directly in the economic development of the host country through provision of capital and transfer of technology, the Daily said, quoting the publication as saying.
GCC states must, accordingly, change their policies and strategies to effectively attract foreign capital.
Moves to become investor-friendly have already begun in the GCC, with different states adopting different measures.
In Bahrain, Oman and the UAE, supreme councils for economic development have been established to achieve and create integrated economic development.
In Saudi Arabia, a General Investment Authority (GIA) has been established to provide comprehensive services to domestic and foreign investors, while Kuwait and Qatar have issued investment laws in addition to packages of incentives, the Daily noted.
All this has resulted in attracting foreign investors in sectors other than oil and gas, it said.