By Gavin Gibbon
UAE is only of only three emerging economies in the top 25, alongside China and Brazil
The United Arab Emirates has been ranked 19th globally in the 2020 Kearney Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) Confidence Index, up from 21st place when it was last represented in the index in 2017.
The country’s ranking reflects positive investor sentiment based on the government’s commitment to economic diversification, innovation, infrastructure and ease of doing business – among other factors.
Positive government policies introduced in 2019, such as the introduction of 100 percent foreign ownership in 13 sectors of the economy—including manufacturing, agriculture, and renewable energy -as well as strong activity in the technology sector following the United States’ ride-sharing firm Uber Technologies Inc. acquiring the online car booking service Careem Networks for $3.1 billion, have contributed to making the country one of the world’s most attractive FDI destinations.
Rudolph Lohmeyer, partner, National Transformations Institute, Kearney Middle East, said: “The UAE’s commitment to good governance, innovation, infrastructure and the business environment is now paying clear dividends in its foreign investment attractiveness.”
According the FDI Confidence Index, global foreign direct investment will decline in the year ahead as a result of Covid-19 and the nature and timeline of recovery remain highly uncertain.
However, Lohmeyer remained bullish about the UAE’s ability to recover from the economic shockwaves.
He added: “Investors clearly anticipate that these fundamentals, combined with an extremely effective response to the crisis, will enable the country to emerge strongly from the Covid-19 crisis. The UAE is also expected to benefit from the entry into force of the Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) through new trade opportunities with African countries, though Covid-19 has delayed the timeline for the agreement.”
“The shift of the Dubai Expo 2021 is expected to fuel growth and stimulate foreign investment as the world emerges from the crisis,” he added.
The US was ranked number one in the index, followed by Canada, Germany and Japan. France completed the top five.