UAE, Saudi, and Qatar, ranked quite well in the Index in Kearney’s 2023 Foreign Direct Investment Confidence Index (FDICI) Emerging Markets ranking.
According to the strategy and management consulting firm, the UAE ranked 18th globally on the index and is the leading emerging market across the MENA region. Due to its strong growth last year, attractive business environment, and focus on innovation and technological capabilities, the UAE ranked first regionally and third globally after China and India.
Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia rejoined the index ranking 24th globally and sixth on the emerging markets ranking. This is likely due to its high growth of 8.7% in 2022 combined with sweeping pro-business reforms, a sharp rise in oil prices, and production power recovery following a pandemic-induced recession.
On the other hand, Qatar ranked 21st globally on the index and fourth globally in the emerging markets ranking. The country rose three spots in the global ranking from 2022, likely due to Qatar’s prestigious hosting of the FIFA World Cup last year which boosted investors’ interest coupled with the country’s National Vision 2030, aimed at developing and diversifying the economy.
The GCC countries also placed high in the emerging markets ranking with Qatar ranking fourth and KSA ranking sixth globally.
Investor sentiment is growing in other Middle East countries with Egypt, Turkey, and Morocco positioned 14th, 15th, and 16th in the emerging markets ranking respectively.
Moreover, the report reflects cautious investor optimism about the global economy. Indeed, more than three-quarters (82%) said they are planning to increase their FDI in the next three years and 86 percent cited FDI as more important for their corporate profitability and competitiveness in the next three years. Yet this positive sentiment is tempered by concern about downside risk.
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