Investment in Arab states rises

Report says investments reached $496 billion in 2011

Total foreign and domestic investments in Arab states rose slighlty last year despite widespread unrest, the Kuwait-based Arab Investment and Export Credit Guarantee Corp. said on Tuesday.

The investments, both private and government, increased by 1.2 per cent to $496 billion in 2011 from $490 billion in the previous year, the organisation said in a report without providing details on the foreign share.

Several Arab nations have been hit by unprecedented uprisings that have already toppled the leaders of Tunisia, Egypt, Libya and Yemen, while the Syrian regime is fighting a bloody battle for survival.

Algeria, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates accounted for 63 percent of the investments, or $312.5 billion, said the report which covered 21 of the 22 members of the Arab League.

The report estimated total capital investments in the 21 Arab nations would reach $4.26 trillion over the next six years up until 2017, with Saudi Arabia accounting for more than $1 trillion.

Capital investments in the Arab countries is expected to hit $559 billion in 2012 and will gradually grow to reach $779 billion in 2017, amounting to growth of about 40 percent, it said.

The report based its optimistic outlook on huge investment plans already announced mainly by the energy-rich Gulf states.

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