Jamal Al Jarwan, Secretary-General of the UAE International Investors’ Council (UAEIIC), says a fierce competition exists among global investment markets while the UAEIIC strengthens coordination between public and private sectors to enhance investment.
The UAE International Investors Council (UAEIIC), a semi-government institution under the chairmanship of the UAE Minister of Economy, has urged the UAE businesses to invest their resources in high-growth and investor-friendly countries, as it started exploring opportunities in key investment destinations.
Jamal Al-Jarwan, Secretary-General of the UAEIIC, said the UAEIIC is playing an instrumental role in bridging the gap between public and private sector as well as spearheading UAE’s investment in other countries.
Foreign direct investment (FDI) flow in to the UAE reached $10.3 billion in 2017, up from $9.6 billion in 2016, according to the UAE Competitiveness and Statistics Authority. Al Jarwan also noted that the total FDI outflow from the UAE reached $16 billion in 2016.
This is at the backdrop of a global decline in FDI flows. Global investment is seeing a bumpy recovery as worldwide FDI flows reached $1.52 trillion in 2017, according to the World Investment Report published by the United Nations Council on Trade and Development (UNCTAD). FDI to developing economies remained stable, at an estimated $653 billion, two per cent more than the previous year.
The UAE ranks 23 in the world in terms of FDI outflow and the first in the Middle East—making it a net capital exporting country in the world.
Jamal Al-Jarwan called on the public and private sectors to take advantage of the status of the UAE as the largest and most attractive source of foreign direct investment among the Arab countries, pointing out the importance of synergies to reap the benefits of growing investment opportunities at home and abroad.
Jarwan pointed out that UAEIIC is aware of the growing competition among countries to attract FDI. The UAEIIC is increasing its role in support of national development and make significant contribution through investment in projects.br />
“All of us, the private sector and the public sector, must maintain our achievements and not lose the leading position in investment in the Arab world in bringing and exporting investments. We have a lot to do in the next stage to strengthen our country's position in the face of a global competition,” he said.br />
“Most countries are now liberalising their laws to create a better investment environment for attracting FDI. The AIM took reflected the UAE's successful approach to promoting investment inflow and outflow, despite a slowdown in the global FDI flow.
“However, although there is no shortage of capital, but I urge investors to exercise caution and wait until they find the most attractive environment for investment. Experience has shown that the UAE investors have a long history of foreign investment and has gained considerable experience in managing the investment.
“UAE investors are ready to help rebuild the economies of the Arab countries affected by conflicts and we will do what it takes to help these economies, and I am sure that the UAE government is proactive in providing support in this regard,” he said.
"We are proud of UAE companies and brands that have demonstrated their presence in the global markets including Mubadala, DP World, Etisalat, Emaar, Majid Al Futtaim, Emirates Airline, Etihad Airways, Alarabiah Airlines, Dubai Investments, Dubai Holding, Thani Investment, Al Fahim Group, Sharaf Group, Al Khaleej Sugar, and we are proud of UAE CEOs for their success and experience, which has become a lever for the national economy,” Al Jarwan said.
Additionally, Al-Jarwan identified a number of recommendations that UAE investors must adhere to when planning to invest abroad. These recommendations include studying the target country’s investment laws, conducting a thorough market research, evaluating the assets through reputed financial institutions, consultation with government agencies, evaluating potential partners, seeking advice from the target country's government officials, the existence of investment protection agreements between the UAE and the target countries, potential economic growth and the ranking in ease in doing business.
“Investors should analyse the geopolitical climate correctly, choose the right management, not to neglect sensitive management positions, follow up and update the business plan every year, form a supervisory unit for foreign investment, and ensure having solid legal agreements that protects the investment and shareholders and choose the appropriate laws that provide full protection for investment, and focus on the formation of the teams and not neglect the structure of capital between debt and equity in an optimal manner, and be careful against fluctuations in the local currency,” Al Jarwan said.
“There should be a clear understanding among the shareholders on the risks in foreign investment and the private investment climate in the country. Investment decision should always be based on financial and strategic return to the investors.”
The UAEIIC is a semi-government institution that helps investors take the right investment decisions and to protect their investments abroad with country-specific and industry-specific research, intelligence and risk analysis that enables it to offer insights on investment risks and opportunities in different countries and different economic sectors.
The UAEIIC, under the directives of HE the Minister of Economy and the President of the Council Eng. Sultan Bin Saeed Al Mansoori, applies a system based on best international practises to determine the investment destinations. It has established a system of consultation and collective action with the private sector in advising emirati investors to invest in foreign countries.