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Although the flow of foreign direct investment (FDI) into Arab countries declined in 2009 as a fallout of the global financial crisis, Qatar witnessed a rise in FDI inflow last year.

The FDI inflow into Qatar was to the tune of $8.7bn, up from $6.7bn in the previous year, media reports suggest.

Qatar, which is the largest exporter of liquefied natural gas (LNG) in the world, was second only to Saudi Arabia, which is the largest Arab economy, in terms of FDI inflow in 2009. The inflow into the Saudi economy was to the extent of a staggering $35.5bn.

However, the difference between Qatar and Saudi Arabia, whose fast-expanding petrochemical sector remains the main FDI puller, was that the FDI inflow (into Saudi Arabia) declined from $38.2bn in 2008 to $35.5bn the following year. In the case of Qatar, the inflow rose in 2009 as compared to 2008.

The total FDI inflow into Arab states dropped 15.1 percent last year due to the ongoing impact of the global economic meltdown.

Total FDI in the 18 states dropped to $80.7bn in 2009 from $95bn the previous year, media reports quoted Kuwait-based Arab Investment and Export Credit Guarantee Corp as saying in an extensive report.


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