Foreign direct investment, or FDI, into Arab world rose by nearly 10 per cent in 2012 led by Saudi Arabia and the UAE, according to a latest report.
Last year, Arab countries attracted FDI worth $47.1 billion despite political uncertainty in some of them compared to $42.9 billion in the previous year, the Arab Investment and Export Credit Guarantee Corp said in its annual report, which covered 20 out of 22 Arab League.
The foreign investment inflow rose in 15 countries including Tunisia, Egypt, Libya and Yemen despite violence and unrest issue during the last three years.
The six Gulf countries attracted the most investment as they accounted for 56 per cent to $26.4 billion. Saudi Arabia topped the list with $12.2 billion, sharing 25.8 per cent of the total even though its share fell by 25 per cent from the previous year.
The UAE ranked second and its inflow rose 25 per cent to $9.6 billion, accounting for 20.8 per cent of the total Arab world. In 2011, the UAE attracted &7.6 billion FDI.
Inter-Arab Investment Guarantee Corporation data shows that the UAE attracted more than $75 billion in FDI between 2000 and 2010 to emerge as the second largest foreign capital destination in the Arab world after Saudi Arabia. According to experts, the cumulative FDI flow into the UAE would cross $100 billion in 2013.
In 2012, Dubai drew a bulk of the FDI inflow by recording Dh16.5 billion in the first half, an increase of seven per cent compared to the same 2011 period. According to estimates by investment experts, Dubai would have sustained the same trend in the second half of 2012 to post FDI receipts exceeding Dh27 billion.
Lebanon ranked third with $7.8 billion followed by Algeria with $6.2 billion, according to Arab Investment report. Egypt performed well as the value of FDI jumped from a negative $483 million in 2011 to $2.8 billion last year. In Tunisia it increased by 68 percent to $1.95 billion. In Libya, FDI increased from a flat 2011 to $720 million in 2012, and in Yemen it rose from $713 million in the red to $4 million in the black. FDI inflows into Kuwait more than doubled to about $1.9 billion last year.