The UAE Government’s enactment of the foreign direct investment (FDI) law in 2018 is seen to help accelerate FDI flows by up to 20 percent this year, from the eight percent average growth rate, as per the recent estimates of the Ministry of Economy. The landmark law is predicted to further strengthen the already business-friendly climate in the country.
The new FDI law is going to take a prominent spot in the upcoming global FDI discussions at the Annual Investment Meeting 2019 in Dubai happening from 8th to 10th of April. High-level representatives from the country are expected to present the key provisions of the law before a global audience alongside other factors that make the Emirates a preferred FDI destination in the Arab region.
Apart from its strategic location and business-friendly environment, the UAE’s advanced infrastructure, ability to attract highly skilled human resources, and commitment to implement the best industry practices are being credited for its global appeal to investors
“Attracting international investments is critical to the sustainable development of any country, and in the case of the UAE, to its economic diversification strategy. Higher FDIs result in more job opportunities and stronger international ties and can lead to the faster realization of the objectives of both UAE Vision 2021 and UN Sustainable Development Goals 2030. During the event, UAE representatives will showcase investment and growth prospects in the country brought about by the new law and its steady national socio-economic development,” Dawood Al Shezawi, CEO of Annual Investment Organizing Committee.
Under the law, a powerful foreign direct investment unit will be established within the Ministry of Economy. The unit will propose FDI policies, identify priorities, formulate relevant programs, and lead the implementation of the UAE Cabinet-approved proposals. It will also oversee the establishment of comprehensive database for UAE investments as well as assist in the registration and licensing of FDI projects, to name a few. Creating the dedicated unit will reportedly improve the transparency level in the Arab state as well as offer a more accurate picture of the local economy to investors.
“As the country prepares for a post-oil future and continues to transition to a knowledge- and innovation-driven economy, the FDI law is going to be an influential factor that will drive the UAE’s socio-economic growth and development in the 21st century,” Al Shezawi said.
As it is, the outlook on the UAE’s development remains upbeat. The International Monetary Fund has estimated that the country’s real gross domestic product (GDP) will experience a 3.7 per cent increase this year compared with 2.9 per cent in 2018. Non-oil GDP is also forecasted by the Central Bank of the UAE to expand at 3.4 per cent in 2019 compared to 2.6 per cent in 2018.
“At this year’s AIM, we are bringing the discussions deeper by looking into the impact of next-generation technologies such as robotics, artificial intelligence, and blockchain on investment and global trade. As such, the event’s theme, ‘Mapping the Future of FDI: Enriching World Economies through Digital Globalization,’ will help direct our dialogues towards adoption of a new way of thinking amidst these digital explosions. The enactment of the new FDI law comes at a time when disruptive technologies are being implemented left and right. AIM 2019 is the best opportunity to study the provisions of the law under this lens,” he concluded.
Besides the main conference, the ninth edition will also feature capacity-building workshops, country presentations, and an exhibition that will be attended by thousands of exhibitors and visitors from across the globe.