Greenfield investment monitor fDi Markets has tracked a resurgence in FDI destined for the Gulf Co-operation Council (GCC) during the first two quarters of 2014. In the first half of 2014, fDi Markets tracked 293 such projects, 57% of the total number tracked in the whole of 2013. Should this trend continue, 2014 will mark the end of a two-year downward trend, which saw FDI decrease by 10.05% between 2011 and 2012, and by a further 12.72% between 2012 and 2013.

The United Arab Emirates remains the most attractive destination for FDI entering the GCC, accounting for 58.7% of projects so far in 2014. This is a trend that has remained consistent since 2003, with the UAE never accounting for less that half of inward GCC FDI.

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The GCC’s resurgence in 2014 can largely be attributed to the increasing levels of greenfield investment originating from both western Europe and Asia-Pacific. Data so far obtained for 2014 shows that FDI from western Europe is already 59.22% of the total recorded in 2013. Asia-Pacific has witnessed an even larger increase in investment, with 2014 levels standing at 76.74% of the total recorded in 2013.

Of those companies that established operations within the GCC in 2014, and that stated their motives for investment, 51% listed the domestic market’s growth potential as being a key determinant, an indicator of the renewed economic optimism prevalent in the region.