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Abu Dhabi moves to set up FDI body

By Staff

Abu Dhabi is planning to create a body that will work to increase foreign capital inflow as part of the emirate’s long-term strategy ‘Vision 2030’ targetting FDI of 23 per cent of its GDP, a senior official said on Monday.

The Investment Promotion Agency (IPA) will be based in Abu Dhabi and will have offices around the world to explain investment opportunities in the emirate and attract capital, mainly in the industrial sector, said Nasser Ahmad Al Sowaidi, Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development (DED).

Addressing an investment forum held by DED in Tokyo, Sowaidi urged Japan’s government and businessmen to invest in the emirate and take advantage of its growing economy and new business opportunities created by  Vision 2030.

“Currently, DED is working on setting up a dedicated investment promotion  agency, which will act as the focal point for all foreign direct investors to facilitate inward investment in the emirate, provide feedback and act as a tool for policy makers to regularly revise investment regulations,” he said.

“The agency will open international offices to promote the emirate as a globally competitive destination. The new agency will seek to identify areas of opportunities for potential investors and serve as a one-stop shop for licensing and registration of enterprises and venture projects,” he said.

‘Vision 2030’ targets FDI of 23 per cent of GDP.

“Based upon Abu Dhabi’s strong fundamentals, the emirate is a promising hub for investments and partnerships, particularly in the government-targeted 10 focus sectors,” he said.

He added that these sectors enjoy strong government support, backed by huge infrastructure investments. He said Abu Dhabi offers a package of incentives to foreign investors including world-class infrastructure, free flow of capital, exemption from corporate and individual income tax, full repatriation of capital, free transfer of profits and full exemption of duties on capital and intermediate goods in the manufacturing industry. The strategic location of the emirate is also a positive factor,” he said.
“Investment prospects between UAE and Japan are quite promising. The UAE is Japan’s second largest provider of crude oil, which has attracted many Japanese investments to the energy sector,” he said.

The UAE is a major destination for Japanese investments in the MENA region, as it is increasingly becoming home to major Japanese companies operating in the region. Figures show that Japanese FDI in the UAE exceeded $370 million by the end of 2010, most of it in the energy sector.

Two-way trade between UAE and Japan surged by 30.5 per cent to $23.8 billion in the first half of 2011 compared with the same period of 2010.The UAE’s exports to Japan during the first half of 2011 stood at $20.65 billion, compared to $14.67 billion for the same period in 2010, an increase of nearly 40 per cent. Japan’s exports to the UAE fell by 11 per cent in the same period mainly because of the devastating earthquake in that country.
Turning to the domestic economy, Sowaidi said Abu Dhabi’s GDP has recovered in 2010, with total output growing by 15.9 per cent. Non-oil GDP increased by 5.5 per cent in 2010 compared to 1.3 per cent in 2009, he said. Non-oil GDP accounted for nearly 50.3 per cent of the emirate’s total economy while the oil GDP amounted to 49.7 per cent in 2010.