In the latest Kearney’s 2023 Foreign Direct Investment Confidence Index (FDICI), United Arab Emirates (UAE) has emerged at the top place for international investors in the Middle East & North Africa (MENA) region.
Meanwhile, in the Emerging Markets ranking of the report, UAE has secured the highest spot in the region and third worldwide following China and India, demonstrating an impressive economic performance, particularly last year.
Here is the table showing the top ten emerging markets:
|1.||China (including Hong Kong)|
The FDICI helps investors and businessmen to decide which market and country is best suitable for them and offers them a business-friendly climate. The report lauded UAE’s performance in 2022, with its GDP growing at 7.9 percent despite the pandemic, while other economies were struggling.
According to the index, the UAE is expected to experience consistent growth in 2023 and 2024, with growth rates of 3.2 percent and 4.8 percent, respectively. This growth is attributed to the UAE’s investment-friendly environment and the launch of the Dubai Economic Agenda, which is an $8.7 trillion economic plan aimed at boosting trade and investment to make the country a global hub.
Rudolph Lohmeyer, a partner at Kearney Middle East’s National Transformations Institute, said that the UAE government is dedicated to diversifying the country’s economy and improving the business environment. Investors are encouraged by these reforms, making the UAE an exceptionally attractive destination for them.
In the Developed Markets ranking, UAE ranked 18th globally, with Qatar following at 21st and Saudi Arabia at 24th. Saudi Arabia’s strong performance was due to several factors such as an 8.7 percent GDP growth in 2022, pro-business reforms, a promising fiscal outlook, and progress in economic diversification.
Qatar rose by three ranks globally from the previous year, largely due to being the host country for the FIFA World Cup 2022, which has increased investor interest. Qatar’s National Vision 2030 also intends to diversify the country’s economy away from oil, further boosting investor confidence.
GCC countries like Qatar and Saudi Arabia also performed well in the emerging markets ranking, with Qatar ranked fourth and Saudi Arabia ranked sixth globally. Additionally, other Middle East countries like Egypt, Turkey, and Morocco were placed at 14th, 15th, and 16th respectively, indicating growing investor confidence in the region.
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