Fourteen of the 22 Arab states were in the top-100 ranking on the UNCTAD FDI Potential Index, which places countries on the basis of their attractiveness to FDI.
All in all, global FDI flows amounted to $651.18 billion in 2002, and the share of the Arab World was $7.3 billion. The recently released UNCTAD World Investment Report said the six GCC countries attracted FDI flows of $1.81 billion during 2003, which is higher by 64 per cent from the $1.097 billion net FDI inflows into the Gulf during 2002.
"Though the Arab world has done well, in relative terms, the flow of $1.81 billion to the Gulf in 2003, is simply not enough when compared to $560 billion that was generated globally. Even the $7.35 billion that the entire Arab world received in 2003, is but a drop in the ocean of funds that travelled the world last year looking for investment opportunities," said Mohammad Al Gergawi, chairman of the Board of Dubai Development and Investment Authority (DDIA), according to Gulf News.
Arab countries on the top-50 UNCTAD FDI Potential Index are led by Qatar, UAE, Kuwait, Bahrain and Saudi Arabia and also include Jordan and Libya.
It should be noted that the largest amount of FDI received last year was by Morocco, which attracted $2.27 billion, despite the fact that it is ranked 93rd on the Index. FDI in Morocco climbed from $0.5 billion in 2002 thanks to its privatization program.
Ranked 87th, Yemen was the only Arab state to see a negative FDI inflow of -$89 million.
FDI in Lebanon rose to $358 million in 2003 compared to $257 million in 2002, a jump of 12.1 percent. However, according to the report, Lebanon ranked just 90th in the world in terms of FDI for 2003. (menareport.com)
© 2004 Mena Report (www.menareport.com )