FDI attracted to UAE by its competitive economy

UAE Economy Minister Sultan bin Saeed Al Mansouri said the UAE has one of the regions’ most competitive economies in terms of attracting foreign investments. The UAE ranks 31st globally in Davos Global Competitiveness Index (GCI) for 2008-2009, issued by Davos World Economic Forum and first in the Middle East and North Africa (Mena) region. He added that the country ranks first on the Arab World Competitiveness Index as well as 23rd globally on the Davos Business Competitiveness Index (BCI) for 2008. Al Mansouri made his remarks at the 24th meeting of the OIC Standing Committee for Economic and Commercial Co-operation. He led the UAE delegation to the meeting, which was concluded in Istanbul yesterday. « The UAE also ranked 3rd on AT Kearney FDI Confidence Index for 2007 », he remarked. All these ranks, added Al Mansouri, are true demonstration of the robust current and future FDI flow into the UAE, adding that the country’s GDP rose to $198 billion (Dh727bn) in 2007 posting growth rate of 16.7 per cent where the share of non-oil sectors reached 16.5 per cent ($122 billion) in 2007. The surplus reached $48 billion. The UAE’s total exports reached $180bn in 2007 where crude oil exports accounted for only 39.4 per cent. He further added that FDI in the UAE economy grew by 11 per cent in 2006 to reach $18.7bn compared with $16.6bn in 2005, according to Ministry’s figures, thanks to the country’s investment and economic open and attractive policies and the geographical and strategic location. Al Mansouri stressed the need for promoting stronger economic partnerships among OIC’s member countries to further increase trade and combat poverty and disease as well as to strengthen the economic development in the less developed countries, in Africa in particualr. He also stressed the need for making joint Islamic projects as a strategic goal and an effective step towards economic integration among OIC member countries. He called all investors to tap opportunities in all the OIC member countries to « provide a social and political safety valve for OIC countries and the whole Islamic World ». He further called for a clear realistic and strategic vision for Islamic cooperation and foreign investments. By WAM