Saudi Arabia has topped the list of GCC and West Asia countries in terms of direct foreign investment.
International direct foreign investment jumped by 30%, and reached $1.833 trillion.
Merger and acquisition operations across the world have registered unprecedented growth with total value of $1.637 trillion last year, while the total assets managed by sovereign funds are estimated at $5 trillion.
Saudi Arabia topped all Middle Eastern countries in attracting foreign investments with $24bn in 2007, up 33%.
Economic growth and improvement in the investment climate witnessed by many countries including west Asia countries, contributed to increased foreign investments in these countries.
Foreign investments are expanding rapidly in Saudi Arabia. Both 2005 and 2006 saw a surge in economic growth as a result of the economic policies adopted by the kingdom.
Governor of the Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority (Sagia) Amer Al Dabagh stressed the importance of the continuous improvement of the economic climate to attract more investments and show a better competitive environment and reflect the high economic growth in Saudi Arabia compared to last year.
Al Dabagh indicated that the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development report said that Saudi Arabia has potential to have increased investments but more effort needs to be put into attracting them.
Al Dabagh added that the remarkable growth in investments in the country cited in a number of international reports reflects the policy adopted by the kingdom to encourage local as well as foreign investments.
The government has already taken a number of decisions to increase the role of the local and foreign private sector in expanding the economic base and diversifying the source of national income. The move is also to increase the value of the country’s natural resources.
According to 2009 report issued by the International Finance Corporation (IFC) of the World Bank, Saudi Arabia topped the Middle East and North African countries to show the best investment environment.
Saudi Arabia ranked 16 in the IFC report which evaluates the business environment and investment competitiveness in 181 states.
A considerable development was achieved in the Saudi rating in the international competitiveness reports after the adoption of the ‘10×10 vision’ by Sagia.
According to the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development report, direct foreign investments in west Asia has increased by 12% to reach $71bn with the majority of these investments going to three countries; KSA, Turkey and UAE.
Foreign Direct Investments coming from the region in 2007 reached $44bn, with 94% of these investments coming from Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Qatar, Bahrain, and Oman.
Such a high investments by these countries reflects a desire to diversify their economy away from oil and gas as is evident from many projects and merger and acquisition operations across its borders.
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