The United Arab Emirates has been ranked as the best country in the Arab World in terms of attracting Foreign direct investment (FDI) for 2021, according to the newly released United Nations Conference on Trade and Development’s (UNCTAD) World Investment Report 2022. With FDI inflow growing from US$19.88 billion in 2020 to US$20.7 billion in 2021, the UAE remained the top recipient.
According to estimates from the Federal Competitiveness and Statistics Centre, the UAE's trade surplus with other Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries in 2021 was estimated at AED134.7 billion.
UAE imports from GCC countries in 2021 rose in value to AED56.3 billion, weighing 27.9 million tonnes, compared to AED43.8 billion with a weight of 26.5 million tonnes in 2020. The UAE’s non-oil exports to GCC countries at the end of 2021 stood at AED71.9 billion, weighing 36.4 million tonnes, compared to AED48.8 billion with a weight of 29.3 million tonnes at the end of 2020.
The value of re-exports at the end of 2021 amounted to AED119.1 billion, weighing 4.3 million tonnes, compared to AED103.8 billion with a weight of 4.08 million tonnes at the end of 2020.
The tremendous increase in FDI reflects the international community's confidence in the UAE's investment environment. It also emphasizes the effectiveness of the country's trade and investment openness policies. Despite headwinds and global geopolitical challenges, the UAE is determined to enhance foreign direct investment flows to the country, which is a major pillar of the country's growth goal. The UAE aspires to boost economic production by up to 6% in 2022. Traditional and renewable energy, oil and natural gas, financial sector, insurance operations, real estate, health, industry, and agriculture are among the sectors and vital economic activities in which the UAE has received foreign investments.
FDI was also attracted to a number of new economic areas, including the digital economy, technology, innovation, artificial intelligence, Internet of things and blockchain, novel medical technologies, high-speed transportation, virtual and augmented reality, robotics, and self-driving automobiles.
In addition to making significant progress in the fields of conventional and renewable energy, UAE enterprises have been able to improve the national economy's competitiveness in a variety of advanced global industries and services such as aviation, transportation, and mining. They also do well in the real estate and building industries, as well as ICT, oil and gas, logistics, ports and infrastructure, tourism, hotels and entertainment, banking, and agriculture.
The Projects of the 50 initiatives aims to attract Dh550 billion worth of foreign investments to the country by 2030, to eventually reach Dh1 trillion by 2051, said Dr Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, Minister of State for Foreign Trade.