Middle East FDI set 'to surge'
Manama, June 2, 2010
There has been a huge increase in cross border direct investment across the Middle East region, according to IFC World Bank Mena region director Michael Essex.
'Back in 2008 foreign direct investment across the region was some $90 billion and of that $34 billion was inter-Arab investment with investors in GCC countries increasingly investing elsewhere in the area and further afield in the Middle East and North Africa region,' he said.
'A lot of this investment has been promoted by infrastructure development with the private sector now moving to these areas.
'This is a region of growing economies and growing population with more young people having larger disposable incomes.
'I would expect foreign direct investment and inter-Arab investment to continue to rise in the future because the underlying dynamics of the economies are looking at long-term growth.'
He said that foreign direct investment was now looking more at emerging markets, of which the GCC countries were highly attractive.
'One of the strong points of the regional economies over some other emerging markets is that they have developed a higher degree of openness and transparency,' he added.
'The other strength is that investors are familiar with these markets and more comfortable to invest here than outside the region and that is one of the keys to the large cross border investment that we are now seeing,' he said.-TradeArabia News Service