ABU DHABI, 2nd April, 2017 (WAM) -- The UAE tops investment destinations in the Middle East and North Africa, MENA, region, Sultan bin Saeed Al Mansouri, Minister of Economy has stated.
Addressing the inaugural session of the Annual Investment Meeting, AIM 2017, which opened in Dubai today, Sultan Al Mansouri highlighted the recently released UNCTAD's Global Investment Report 2016 where, the minister added, the UAE ranked 16th, making the country the most competitive position and the largest investment-attracting nation in the Middle East and North Africa region.
"FDI is a major driver of economic growth and sustainability. The world economy has seen a surge in FDI flows over the past decades, and it is clear that both developed and developing countries are working hard to develop favourable policies and incentives to attract more foreign investments. On a national level, however, we must pay greater attention to the desired outcomes and the potential gains that can be achieved, by developing improved FDI strategies, to increase productivity and enhance national competitiveness," Al Mansouri said.
"In 2015, global FDI inflows increased by about 40 percent to US$1.8 trillion. However, this growth did not indicate to a similar increase in productive capacity in other countries. To accomplish the positive outcomes that can be achieved through FDI, such as job creation, skills and knowledge transfer, nations must create a clear vision and concrete agendas for a more competitive economy," he said.
"In contrast to 2015, FDI inflows in 2016 have shrunk to $1.5 trillion. This decline was more pronounced in emerging markets than in developed economies. As a result, emerging markets face increasing challenges to attract global FDI. To succeed in our efforts, decision-makers in emerging markets must recognise the different motivations and incentives of foreign investments in various sectors, which require a mix of differentiated policies to maximise the potential benefits of FDI," Al Mansouri added.
The minister continued, "According to the ambitious economic policies adopted by the UAE and expressed by the 2021 vision of the UAE to build a competitive economy based on knowledge and innovation, the UAE has become a regional and global centre for investment and business, as well as a source of huge investment flows to a large number of countries in the world."
"This competitive position has not been achieved by chance, but instead through determination and hard work. Achieving it also required a clear vision of leadership, strategies, teams, performance indicators, continuous follow-up, learning and benefiting from the experiences of other countries, and through interaction and cooperation of the private sector in building sustainable partnerships. This is what makes the UAE the second largest Arab economy and the most diversified economy in the region," he said.
The minister emphasised the need to continue to create innovative ideas and to always manufacture solutions for challenges in order to witness sustainable economic growth.
"Today, the world is highly interconnected and affected by any changes happening in any part of the world. Therefore, causing some societies to stand still and feel unable to cope with these rapid changes. Thus, collective and collaborative efforts between governments and private sectors are essential to overcome the challenges and to build a secure, stable and prosperous future for the citizens of the world to live in," he said.
"Economic openness and free markets have been an incentive for the growth of economies. Trade protectionism policies have always served short-term objectives, but their long-term implications are negative. Today, we meet to emphasise that FDI has always been a contributing factor in the development of the economies of receiving and exporting countries and that protectionist policies would only undermine the growth of investments and would negatively impact the prosperity of the global economy," Al Mansouri concluded.