The UAE was the world’s 15th biggest recipient of foreign direct investment (FDI) in 2020, receiving $20 billion, up from $18 billion in 2019.
ADNOC’s sale of a stake in its natural gas pipelines contributed to investment growth in the country, a United Nations report said, as well as liberalisation of its FDI regime.
Last year, UAE’s biggest energy producer signed a deal worth more than $10 billion with a group of investors to sell a 49 percent stake in its gas pipelines.
The country kept is place as the 13th biggest for FDI outflows, investing $19 billion.
The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) World Investment Report also showed that the UAE was the fifth biggest recipient of FDI in Asia, after China, Hong Kong, Singapore and India.
“FDI to the United Arab Emirates expanded by 11 per cent to $20 billion,” the report said. “Natural resources transactions drove investments in the country, primarily ADNOC’s $10 billion sale of a 49 per cent stake in its natural-gas pipelines to a group of six investors including Global Infrastructure Partners (United States), Brookfield Asset Management (Canada) and Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund.”
The report continued: “The United Arab Emirates also received investments in other industries: for example, some 53 per cent of FDI to the Emirate of Dubai in the first half of 2020 was in medium and high-tech sectors; and a key deal was realised in the pharmaceuticals industry, with CCL Pharmaceuticals (Pakistan) acquiring a majority stake in StratHealth Pharma for an undisclosed sum.
“The United Arab Emirates continued to liberalise its FDI regime with the promulgation of the 2020 FDI Decree, which further facilitated foreign investment by extending some of the free zone incentives to the broader economy,” it said.
The USA was the biggest recipient of FDI in 2020, receiving $156 billion, down from $261 billion in 2019, while China was number one for FDI outflows, investing $133 billion in 2020, down from $137 billion in 2019.
(Reporting by Imogen Lillywhite; editing by Seban Scaria)
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