United Arab Emirates (UAE) Minister of State for Finance and Industry Mohammed Khalfan Bin Kharbash has called for a regional effort to increase Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) inflows and offset the region’s historical failure to promote the Arab world as an attractive destination for global investments.
Kharbash recently spoke at a special session focused on driving a new regional momentum to encourage more FDI at the on-going three-day International Investment Summit, which opened in Dubai on May 3.
Kharbash said that FDI is more critical to economic growth and stability in the Middle East than ever before. “We have an unprecedented political will throughout the Arab world to speed up the process of economic liberalization and a very real need to secure private sources of funding and reduce the burden on governments,” he said.
He noted that the region has historically failed to capture its fair share of FDI. “During the period 1989 to 1999, the Arab world received only 2.5 percent of the total flow into developing countries despite contributing eight percent of total global GDP. In 2001, Foreign Direct Investment rose to six billion dollars but this was still less than one percent of the global total.
Regarding the issue of governance, Kharbash explained that the UAE Ministry of Finance and Industry itself is driving a government-wide movement to this effect. The Ministry is spearheading the UAE initiative to build efficiencies, synergy and quality amongst all federal and local government institutions. — (menareport.com)
© 2003 Mena Report (www.menareport.com )