UAE leads GCC investments in Sub-Saharan Africa

GCC investments in region topped $1.2bln in five years

  
The view of Dubai Downtown Skyline at Sunset on November 27, 2018 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Image used for illustrative purpose.

The view of Dubai Downtown Skyline at Sunset on November 27, 2018 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Image used for illustrative purpose.

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The UAE has been leading in GCC investments in the Sub-Saharan Africa region in the past several years, according to a Dubai Chamber white paper. 

Between January 2016 and July 2021, investments made by the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries in the area reached $1.2 billion (4.4 billion dirhams) of which the bulk (88 percent) were made by the UAE, said the paper, which was released on Monday. 

The report also said that fintech, healthcare, agriculture and e-commerce are considered as high-potential sectors where business leaders see revenues expanding in 2022. 

Among the business leaders surveyed for the report, around 90 percent said they expect fintech to see the most growth in 2022, followed by healthcare at 89 percent and agriculture and food at 87 percent. 

Top imports, exports 

Oil and petrochemicals are the top exports from the GCC to Africa, accounting for 24 percent and 16 percent, respectively.  

Gold and diamonds are the biggest imports from Africa to the GCC, making up 62 percent of the total in the same period, followed by copper, which accounted for eight percent of imports between July 2016 and July 2021. 

However, the report noted that key obstacles limiting bilateral business exchange include burdensome regulations and bureaucracy, which were considered the top impediment to growth by 59 percent of executives surveyed, as well as a lack in public amenities, inadequate roads and a weak digital infrastructure. 

The white paper, “Untapped opportunity: Deepening trade and investment between sub-Saharan Africa and the GCC”, was commissioned by the chamber ahead of Global Business Forum Africa, which will take place later this week. 

(Reporting by Imogen Lillywhite; editing by Cleofe Maceda) 

Imogen.Lillywhite@refinitiv.com 

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