UN report ranks Saudi Arabia 20th on list of attractive FDI destinations
Saudi Arabia topped the list of most attractive foreign direct investment (FDI) destinations in the region by receiving $18 billion last year, an increase of 51 per cent over 2005, said a recent report.
This puts the Kingdom in 20th position in the world in terms of attracting foreign investment, said a report released by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (Unctad).
The Kingdom topped the Middle East and the Arab countries in terms of attracting FDI and the UAE came second. The report was highlighted by Professor Hafiz Mirza, chief development and investment sector at Unctad.
Mirza was speaking at a press conference in Riyadh yesterday. The conference was attended by Amr Al Dabbagh, governor of the Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority.
The report pointed out that economic growth and improvement in the investment climate in some countries, including the Middle East, contributed to the rise in foreign investment.
FDI into the Middle East amounted to $60 billion with Turkey and Saudi Arabia getting more than 60 per cent, the report said.
"The US, UK and France lead the world in terms of attracting FDI and at the same time these countries are the largest in regard to investments in other countries," the report said.
Saudi Arabia witnessed an FDI surge in 2005 and 2006 thanks to its policies and favourable investment climate. The report noted Saudi Arabia has the potential to better its ranking.
The Unctad report comes less than a month after a World Bank report that highlighted the investment climate in the kingdom.
The bank's report said Saudi Arabia jumped 15 places in the rankings to number 23 among 178 countries with the best investment climate.
Last year, Saudi Arabia adopted qualitative economic reforms. ( Gulf )