Global management consulting firm A.T. Kearney today released its 2014 Foreign Direct Investment Confidence Index (FDICI), an in-depth view of forward-looking investment sentiment. In this year’s ranking, the UAE climbed to an 11th position increasing its global lead by moving up from 14th position in 2013. The U.S. maintains its 1st place position from last year followed by China and Canada.
In the Middle East, the United Arab Emirates (11th) has risen steadily in the index since 2012 after the slight dip in confidence experienced after the global financial crisis. In addition, 39% of global investors responded that UAE as an FDI destination had a more favorable outlook than in 2012. This is in the same range as countries such as Brazil and China, and significantly higher than several European countries.
“The Emirates’ traditional strengths of well-developed infrastructure, talent base, strategic location, and ease of doing business offers international investors easy access to many of the world’s fastest-growing markets including the Middle East, Central Asia and Africa. Additionally, the UAE has developed investment opportunities, diversifying the industrial base and attracting innovative SME industries to the region. These efforts have delivered very positive results: Dubai securing Expo 2020, and Abu Dhabi’s 2030 strategy being tangible examples of the value proposition the country has presented to international industrial and investment communities. Continued progression of this strategy could see the UAE progress even further on its upward trend in international confidence,” said Anshu Vats, Partner at A.T. Kearney Middle East.
The findings bode well not only for the top ranking countries, but for the global economy: nearly four out of five respondents are more optimistic about the global economy than they were a year ago. Since its inception in 1998, the study has consistently pointed toward top global choices for foreign direct investment, with the top 10 most attractive FDI destinations receiving a majority share of global FDI inflows roughly one year after the survey.
Paul A. Laudicina, founder of the FDI Confidence Index and A.T. Kearney chairman emeritus, noted: “Despite volatility and economic uncertainty on a global scale, the findings from the 2014 FDICI suggest that a corner is being turned. Corporations sitting on massive cash reserves are increasingly confident that they can parlay these into productive investments with attractive returns.”