Last updated: 26 July, 2015

Foreign investment in Arab states drops 8% last year

Foreign direct investment into Arab states dropped 8.0 percent last year with the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia attracting close to half the total funds, a report said Sunday.

Arab states attracted FDI worth $43.9 billion (40 billion euros) in 2014 compared with $47.5 billion the previous year, the Kuwait-based Arab Investment and Export Credit Guarantee Corp said in its report.

The figure is still way below the $66.2 billion attracted in 2010 before the start of the Arab Spring uprisings in several countries.

UAE topped the list of countries receiving FDI with $10.1 billion — 23 percent of the total — followed by Saudi Arabia with $8 billion, or 18.3 percent. Egypt came third with $4.8 billion.

The report covered 20 out of the 22 Arab League states, excluding war-torn Syria and tiny Comoros. FDI dropped in 15 of them.

The six energy-rich states of the Gulf Cooperation Council drew in the most investment, accounting 49.7 percent of the Arab world’s total FDI, according to the report.

The report said that total FDI in the Arab world reached $789 billion by the end of 2014, just 4.0 percent of the world’s total of $26 trillion. Saudi Arabia came on top with $216 billion followed by UAE with $116 billion and Egypt with $88 billion.

Outflows of Arab investments into other countries last year dropped 10 percent to $33.4 billion, with Kuwait topping the list with $13 billion or 39.2 percent of the total, the report said.