Ministry matters

UAE attracted $20.7 billion in foreign direct investment in 2021, economy ministry says

The UAE attracted 76 billion dirhams ($20.7 billion) in foreign direct investment in 2021, up 3.9% from 2020, thanks to measures it has taken to develop various sectors economic and facilitate business.

Foreign investment in the country has been directed towards traditional and renewable energy, oil and natural gas, financial services, insurance activities, real estate, health, industry and agriculture, said Wednesday the Ministry of Economy in a press release.

The digital economy, technology, artificial intelligence, Internet of things, blockchain, medical technologies, high-speed transport, virtual and augmented reality, robotics and self-driving cars have also attracted “FDI considerable,” he said.

“This outcome is a natural result of the pioneering measures and initiatives implemented by the UAE during the last phase to develop its economic sectors and significantly improve its investment climate,” said Abdulla bin Touq Al Marri, Minister of the Economy of the United Arab Emirates.

“These policies align with a new, more flexible and sustainable economic model, with greater openness to global markets, and are also in line with future economic trends and emerging technologies.”

The total FDI balance in the Emirates rose to almost 630 billion dirhams at the end of 2021, up 13.7% from the previous year, the ministry said.

The UAE ranked first in the Arab world and 15th globally in the Kearney FDI Confidence Index for 2021, moving up four places from 2020. It has outperformed a number of major global economies such as Singapore, Australia, Portugal, Denmark, Ireland, Brazil and Finland in the overall index ranking.

The growth in FDI inflows to the UAE reflects the international community’s confidence in its investment environment, said Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, Minister of State for Foreign Trade.

New legislation and launch of Campaign 50 Projects should have a concrete long-term impact on the flow and quality of foreign and domestic investment and on the overall economic growth of the UAE, he said. This will result in the creation of new jobs and the development of new skills, he added.

The second largest economy in the Arab world has undertaken economic, legal and social structural reforms aimed at strengthening its business environment, attracting FDI, attracting highly qualified talent and encouraging companies to set up or expand their activities in the Arab world. country.

Reforms include the extension of long-term residency visas to broader categories of residents, far-reaching changes to people and labor laws, allowing 100% foreign ownership of onshore businesses and the decision to change the UAE’s Monday-Friday working week to align with other major economies.

Outward FDI flows from the UAE to other countries reached nearly 82.6 billion dirhams in 2021, a year-on-year growth of 19.1 percent, the ministry said.

UAE companies have boosted the competitiveness of the national economy in a number of advanced global industries such as aviation, transportation, mining, and conventional and renewable energy. They have also invested in real estate, construction, ICT, oil and natural gas, logistics, ports and infrastructure, tourism, hospitality, leisure, banking and agriculture.

The country’s total FDI balance rose 13.7 percent year-on-year to nearly 630 billion dirhams ($171.6 billion) by the end of 2021, the ministry said.

The UAE is keen to increase foreign direct investment flows to the country, a central pillar of the country’s growth agenda, and aims to boost economic output by up to 6% in 2022 despite headwinds and global geopolitical challenges , Mr. ben Touq said last month. .

“If we want to double our economy from 1.4 trillion dirhams ($381 billion) to 3 billion dirhams in seven years as we announced, we need to achieve an average growth of around 5 to 6%,” the minister told reporters on the sidelines of the Annual Investment Meeting in Dubai. “I hope that goal will come true this year.”

The country is working to strengthen its relations with its main trading partners.

The United Arab Emirates and Israel have concluded talks on a Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement this should boost non-oil trade and investment between the two countries.

The agreement is ready to be signed and paves the way for a “new era of collaboration” in priority sectors such as agri-tech, med-tech, new energy solutions and advanced technologies, said Mr. Al Zeyoudi said last week.

The UAE is also currently in Cepa negotiations with Indonesia, Southeast Asia’s largest economy. A similar agreement is being negotiated with South Koreawhich should be finalized by the end of 2022.

Updated: April 06, 2022, 11:53 a.m.