The UAE has pumped in excess of $ 55 billion into foreign markets over the past three decades to emerge as the largest Arab capital exporter. Official data also showed that the UAE has received more than $ 85 billion in foreign direct investment (FDI) during that period to become the second largest Arab market for foreign capital after Saudi Arabia.
During 1980-2011, the FDI flow out of the UAE stood at around $ 55.5 billion, nearly 31 percent of the total Arab capital outflow of nearly $ 176.8 billion, according to the figures by the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) and the Kuwaiti-based Inter-Arab Investment Guarantee Corporation (IAIGC).
The report gave no figures for 2012 but the UAE is believed to have channeled more investment into foreign markets after its current account recorded its highest surplus of $ 60 billion due to a surge to a record high of $ 124 billion.
The report showed the bulk of the FDI flow out of the UAE was during 2006-2008, when it totaled nearly $ 41.1 billion. The outflow largely slowed down in the following years to reach an average of $ 2 billion a year.
The figures showed Saudi Arabia was the second largest Arab capital exporter during that period, with its FDI outflow totaling around $ 26.5 billion.
Kuwait came third, with around $ 22.5 billion while Qatar, the world's top LNG supplier, came fourth with nearly $ 18.5 billion. It was followed by Libya with around $ 16.8 billion, Bahrain with nearly $ 7.8 billion, Lebanon with about $ 7.55 billion and Egypt with $ 6.07 billion, the figures showed.
FDI flow by Morocco stood at around $ 2.09 billion while it was only in millions in most other countries, including Syria, Iraq and Sudan. The report showed the UAE, the second largest Arab economy, was outstripped only by developed countries as it was ahead of most capital exporters in the developing nations.
The figures covered only FDI as they did not include capital channeled by the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (ADIA), one of the world's largest sovereign wealth funds.
As for FDI inflow, the report showed Saudi Arabia was the largest recipient of such investments, with around $ 186.8 billion during that period. The UAE came second with FDI inflow of about $ 85.4 billion.This is followed by Egypt with $ 72.6 billion, Morocco with $ 46.3 billion, Tunisia with $ 31.4 billion and Qatar with nearly $ 0.4 billion, according to the figures.
FDI flow stood at $ 23.3 billion in Jordan, $ 22 billion in Sudan, $ 21.7 billion in Algeria, $ 16.3 billion in Libya, $ 15.9 billion in Bahrain and $ 15 billion in Oman. The report showed the UAE and Saudi Arabia accounted for nearly 42 percent of the total Arab FDI outflow of around $ 645 billion during 1980-2011.
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