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Foreign investment in Arab states drops 8 pc last year

Kuwait City: Foreign direct investment into Arab states dropped 8.0 per cent last year with the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia accounting for close to half the total fall, a report said today.

Arab states attracted FDI worth USD 43.9 billion (40 billion euros) in 2014 compared with USD 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 USD 66.2 billion attracted in 2010 before the start of the Arab Spring uprisings in several countries.

UAE topped the list of losses with USD 10.1 billion — 23 percent of the regional total — followed by Saudi Arabia with USD 8 billion, or 18.3 percent. Egypt came third with USD 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 for half of the Arab world’s total FDI, according to the report.

Outflows of Arab investments into other countries dropped 10 per cent to USD 33.4 billion, with Kuwait topping the list with USD 13 billion or 39.2 per cent of the total, the report said.