UAE is largest Arab capital exporter

Country’s foreign direct investment in other markets exceed $57bn

The UAE has pumped more than $57 billion into foreign markets to emerge as the largest capital exporter in the Arab region, far surpassing the world’s dominant oil power Saudi Arabia, according to UN data.

The funds accounted for nearly 33 per cent of West Asia’s total foreign direct investment (FDI) outflow of nearly $173 billion, showed the figures by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD).

The UAE, the second largest Arab economy, also emerged as the second recipient of FDI in the region after Saudi Arabia, attracting nearly $85.4 billion.

By the end of 2011, FDI flow out of the UAE totalled about $57.7 billion, largely surpassing all other individual nations in West Asia.

The report showed Saudi Arabia, the largest Arab economy and the world’s top oil exporter, came second, with FDI outflow totaling $29.9 billion.

Kuwait was ranked third with around $22 billion although the emirate emerged as one of the least attractive regional destinations for foreign investment, with capital inflow standing at around $10.7 billion by the end of 2011.

Qatar was the fourth largest FDI exporter in the region, with around $18.5 billion. FDI outflow in the other Gulf states of Bahrain and Oman stood at around $8.7 billion and $3.5 billion respectively, according to UNCTAD.

The report showed total FDI flow out of the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) stood at $140.3 billion, nearly 81 per cent of West Asia’s FDI outflow.

FDI flow in to the GCC totalled around $344.2 billion, nearly 60 per cent of investment flow into West Asia of around $575 billion.

Saudi Arabia emerged by far as the largest FDI recipient in West Asia, attracting a total $186.8 billion by the end of 2011, the report showed.

In a previous report, UNCTAD said the UAE was outstripped only by developed countries as it was ahead of most capital exporters in the developing nations.

The figures covered only FDI as they did not include capital channeled by the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (ADIA), one of the world’s largest sovereign wealth funds (SWFs), with assets of between $300-800 billion.

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