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Saudi Arabia is most attractive GCC destination for FDI in Q1

Saudi Arabia is most attractive GCC destination for FDI in Q1
The FDI inflow to the Arab region could shrink by more than 21% in 2020

Riyadh – Mubasher: The number of new foreign direct investment (FDI) projects launched by GCC states to other countries went down by 8% in the first quarter (Q1) of 2020 to stand at 70 projects valued at $4.9 billion. The projects’ investment cost was down by 79.3%.

Saudi Arabia was the top GCC state investing overseas with a share of 49%, followed by the UAE with 38%, Bahrain with 10%, Qatar with 2%, and Kuwait with 1%, whereas no investments were recorded by Oman, according to a recent report by the Arab Investment and Export Credit Guarantee Corporation (Dhaman).

A total of five destinations accounted for 57% of the overall investment cost; these are Uzbekistan, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Australia, and South Africa with 25%, 11%, 10%, 6%, and 5%, respectively. This is compared to the Q1-19 list comprising China, the United States, Iraq, Jordan, and Bahrain. 

Dhaman expected the FDI inflow to the Arab region to witness between 21% and 51% decline with losses ranging between $7.1 billion and $17.2 billion, based on how long the COVID-19 pandemic period will last in 2020.

According to the report, the UAE, Saudi Arabia, and Egypt continue to be a hub for FDIs regionwide, accounting for 65.4% of the projects’ investment cost.

During the period between 2015 and 2019, Egypt led the most important 10 Arab states receiving FDI projects in terms of investment cost, with 476 projects at a value of $124.48 billion, providing up to 106,660 job opportunities.

Meanwhile, the UAE attracted the largest number of projects with 1,814 at a value of $53.6 billion, followed by Saudi Arabia with 513 projects at $53 billion.