Total FDI outflow from the UAE reached US$16 billion in 2016; Investors remain well-positioned to support key growth economies
Source: Pan Asian Media for UAEIIC , Author: Posted by BI-ME staff
Posted: Mon April 30, 2018 1:28 pm

UAE. The UAE International Investors Council (UAEIIC), a semi-government institution under the chairmanship of the UAE Minister of Economy, has urged the UAE businesses to invest their resources in high-growth and investor-friendly countries, as it started exploring opportunities in key investment destinations.

Jamal Al-Jarwan, Secretary-General of the UAEIIC, said the UAEIIC is playing an instrumental role in bridging the gap between public and private sector as well as spearheading UAE’s investment in other countries.

Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) flow in to the UAE reaches $10.3 billion in 2017, up from US$9.6 billion in 2016, according to the UAE Competitiveness and Statistics Authority.

This is at the backdrop of a global decline in FDI flows. Global investment is seeing a bumpy recovery as worldwide FDI flows reached $1.52 trillion in 2017, according to the World Investment Report published by the United Nations Council on Trade and Development (UNCTAD). FDI to developing economies remained stable, at an estimated $653 billion, 2 percent more than the previous year.

The UAE ranks 23 in the world in terms of FDI outflow and the first in the Middle East – making it a net capital exporting country in the world.

Jamal Al-Jarwan called on the public and private sectors to take advantage of the status of the UAE as the largest and most attractive source of foreign direct investment among the Arab countries, pointing out the importance of synergies to reap the benefits of growing investment opportunities at home and abroad.

The UAEIIC is a semi-government institution that helps investors take the right investment decisions and to protect their investments abroad with country-specific and industry-specific research, intelligence and risk analysis that enables it to offer insights on investment risks and opportunities in different countries and different economic sectors.

The UAEIIC, under the directives of His Excellency the Minister of Economy and the President of the Council Eng. Sultan Bin Saeed Al Mansoori, applies a system based on best international practices to determine the investment destinations. It has established a system of consultation and collective action with the private sector in advising emirati investors to invest in foreign countries.

UAEIIC recently met ministers and high-officials of a number of countries participated at the Annual Investment Meeting (AIM), held at the Dubai World Trade Centre from April 9 to 11, where it participated as a strategic partner. Jamal Al-Jarwan, Secretary-General of the UAEIIC, discussed investment opportunities in those countries.

Al Jarwan said the UAE has become the centre of the world's focus as its investors – individual, corporate, institutional and Sovereign Wealth Funds (SWFs) – have made great contribution to the economies.

The Annual Investment Meeting (AIM), organised by the Ministry of Economy, is the largest gathering of government leaders, business leaders and private investors. The conference was attended by 143 countries, some 20,000 VIPs and government delegations, investors and business visitors. The AIM held the most important issues related to the Foreign Direct Investment (FDI).

He pointed out that UAEIIC is aware of the growing competition among countries to attract FDI. The UAEIIC is increasing its role in support of national development, and make significant contribution through investment in projects.

“All of us, the private sector and the public sector, must maintain our achievements and not lose the leading position in investment in the Arab world in bringing and exporting investments. We have a lot to do in the next stage to strengthen our country's position in the face of a global competition,” he said.

“Most countries are now liberalising their laws to create a better investment environment for attracting FDI. The AIM took reflected the UAE's successful approach to promoting investment inflow and outflow, despite a slowdown in the global FDI flow.

“However, although there is no shortage of capital, but I urge investors to exercise caution and wait until they find the most attractive environment for investment. Experience has shown that the UAE investors have a long history of foreign investment and has gained considerable experience in managing the investment.

“UAE investors are ready to help rebuild the economies of the Arab countries affected by conflicts and we will do what it takes to help these economies, and I am sure that the UAE government is proactive in providing support in this regard,” he said.

“Since its establishment, the UAEIIC has succeeded in taking many important steps to become the voice of UAE investors at home and abroad and has become the national institution for the development  and promotion of national investments through enhanced communication and effective coordination between foreign investors and the public sector and foreign entities to support and protect the rights of UAE investors abroad as well as to encourage investment in vital areas that serve the economic diversification pursued by the UAE,” he added.

Al Jarwan said, the total FDI outflow from the UAE reached US$16 billion in 2016.

"We are proud of UAE companies and brands that have demonstrated their presence in the global markets including Mubadala, DP World, Etisalat, Emaar, Majid Al Futtaim, Emirates Airline, Etihad Airways, Alarabiah Airlines, Dubai Investments, Dubai Holding, Thani Investment, Al Fahim Group, Sharaf Group, Al Khaleej Sugar, and we are proud of UAE CEOs for their success and experience, which has become a lever for the national economy,” Al Jarwan said.

He added, UAEIIC’s participation at the AIM was successful and fruitful, and resulted in many understandings with a number of investment entities in the world, and countries participating in the forum.

Al Jarwan met with the Italian delegation participating in the AIM. The two sides discussed investment opportunities, increased trade exchange between the UAE and Italy, the Ecuadorian delegation, the ECOWAS delegation in West Africa and the Congolese Minister of Planning to discuss ways of attracting UAE investments to the infrastructure in the Congo.

The UAEIIC also honoured the delegation of the Indian government of Uttar Pradesh participating in the AIM and with Oman to discuss ways to attract UAE investments to the Sultanate of Oman.
The UAEIIC officials also met with the Lebanese delegation represented by the Ambassador of Lebanon, the Chairman of the Investment and Development Agency of Lebanon (IDAL), the Indonesian delegation which was honored by the Council, the Investment Authority of Ivory Coast and the delegation of the Egyptian Ministry of Investment, where they discussed ways of cooperation and inviting UAE investors to invest and discuss opportunities in Egypt.

Recommendations for Emirati investors abroad
Al-Jarwan identified a number of recommendations that UAE investors must adhere to when planning to invest abroad. These recommendations include studying the target country’s investment laws, conducting a thorough market research, evaluating the assets through reputed financial institutions, consultation with government agencies, evaluating potential partners, seeking advice from the target country's government officials, the existence of investment protection agreements between the UAE and the target countries, potential economic growth and the ranking in ease in doing business.

“Investors should analyse the geopolitical climate correctly, choose the right management, not to neglect sensitive management positions, follow up and update the business plan every year, form a supervisory unit for foreign investment, and ensure having solid legal agreements that protects the investment and shareholders and choose the appropriate laws that provide full protection for investment, and focus on the formation of the teams and not neglect the structure of capital between debt and equity in an optimal manner, and be careful against fluctuations in the local currency,” Al Jarwan said.
“There should be a clear understanding among the shareholders on the risks in foreign investment and the private investment climate in the country. Investment decision should always be based on financial and strategic return to the investors.”
UAE International Investors Council (UAEIIC)
The Vision of the UAEIIC is to act as a link between UAE international investors and government to enhance competitiveness of UAE international investments and to overcome all types of challenges.

It’s mission is to protect UAE international investments through effective coordination amongst the international investors in addition to communication with the governmental agencies and overseas parties to remove potential obstacles, explore safe investment opportunities abroad and provide advice to the Council.

In light of the global developments and the UAE’s strategic plans, and in line with the UAE’s policy to promote economic diversification, a group of UAE international investors proposed the establishment of a council bringing them together and coordinating action amongst them. Members of the UAEIIC now have the opportunity to support investment decision-making at both economic and political levels in the country; by providing them with clear indicators and parameters of the ongoing developments in all areas of UAE investments worldwide.

During the second half of September 2009, a meeting was chaired by the then Ministry of Foreign Trade with a group of UAE companies with distinct investment presence abroad in various sectors such as: telecommunications, real estate development, energy and tourism.

The meeting also included representatives from the Ministries of Foreign Affairs, Finance and Economy where the companies declared their desire and willingness for the idea offering support to the proposed council. As well, all attendees expressed their desire that UAE Cabinet provides the moral support to the Council represented in approving the establishment.

Photo Captions:
1. (above)  Mr. Jamal Al Jarwan, Secretary-General, UAE International Investors Council, at AIM 2017
2. (inset)   For illustrative purposes only (File photo



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