The number of FDI projects into the Middle East and Africa (MEA) declined by 11.78% in 2012 to 1370 projects, according to figures from crossborder investment monitor fDi Markets. Capital investment in the region fell by an estimated 43.31% and job creation by an estimated 23.32%. This data was published in The fDi Report 2013, an annual report from fDi Intelligence.
The number of FDI projects attracted by Oman increased by 48.98% and its market share of inward FDI in the region increased from 3.16% in 2011 to 5.33% in 2012. Egypt and Nigeria also experienced an increase in project numbers by 20% in 2012. Egypt experienced a large increase in capital investment in the country, rising by 64.67%. South Africa’s market share of FDI into the region also increased to more than 10% in 2012.
Of the top 10 countries for inward FDI into the MEA region, Morocco experienced the biggest decline with project numbers falling by 34.25% to 48 projects in 2012. Due to the widespread political instability and civil unrest in Syria, the country saw a massive decline in the number of inward FDI projects by 92.86% in 2012.
FDI projects out of Middle East and Africa MEA was the only world region to achieve growth in outward FDI in 2012, with the number of FDI projects overseas increasing by 9.27%. However, capital investment from the region fell by an estimated 32.35% and job creation by an estimated 1.79%.
The UAE remained the leading country in the MEA region for outward FDI increasing the number of FDI projects overseas by 26.44%. Its market share of outward FDI from MEA increased to 33.95% with 220 projects recorded in 2012 compared with 174 projects in 2011. South Africa was also responsible for more outward FDI projects in 2012, with a 23.38% increase, following on from a successful 2011. Saudi Arabia’s outward FDI increased by 31.25% and its market share also grew, with 63 FDI projects overseas in 2012 compared with 48 recorded in 2011.
The five leading source countries for FDI all remained the same for 2012, except for Bahrain replacing Qatar in fifth place. Qatar saw a decrease in outward FDI in 2012, with FDI projects overseas falling from 38 projects in 2011 to 27 in 2012.
FDI projects by sector in 2012 In 2012, business and financial services was the leading sector for FDI projects in MEA, accounting for 468 projects. Although this represents a decrease in project numbers from 2011, the sector increased its market share over the same timeframe, accounting for 34.16% of FDI into the region.
The life sciences sector saw the largest increase in project numbers in MEA in 2012, with FDI projects increasing by 34.09%, although the sector’s market share of FDI in MEA remains low. FDI in the transportation, warehouse and storage sector experienced strong growth in 2012, with project numbers increasing to 73, a 21.67% increase from 2011. ICT; engines, turbines and industrial machinery; and real estate, hotels and tourism all achieved growth in FDI projects in MEA in 2012. The coal, oil and gas sector, which saw a capital investment decrease in 2011, had a decline in FDI projects in 2012, with capital investment falling by 47.46%.

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