GCC states attract foreign investments: Minister
KUWAIT: GCC states are attracting industrial investments mainly in petrochemical industries, according to Kuwaiti Minister of Commerce and Industry Yousef Al-Ali. GCC’s share of direct foreign investments rose from $27 billion in 2013 to $29.5 in 2014, said the minister in a speech at the GCC’s 15th industrialists’ conference held under patronage of His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah yesterday.
Ali stressed the importance of focusing on foreign investments in the Gulf to achieve development and face the economic challenges, adding that the GCC must exert great effort to expand the industrial sector. He also said that GCC states are working on providing more facilities and establish new legislations to encourage foreign investors.
Meanwhile, Secretary General of the Gulf Organization for Industrial Consulting (GOIC) Abdulaziz AlAqeel said that the flow of foreign direct investments (FDI) to the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) rose from $84.3 billion in 2005 to $416.3 billion in 2014.
The six-member bloc is seeking to enhance the flow of FDI to support the industrial sector, variate sources of income and reduce reliance on oil, which still constitutes 47 percent of their GDP, Aqeel told the GCC’s 15th industrialists’ conference. Last year, the GCC states recorded an accumulation of $53 billion from FDI, which helped provide up to 302,000 jobs in the Gulf markets, he said.
According to the GOIC official, further flow of FDI into the GCC will bring in various benefits, namely giving a push to economic development and support national economies to keep pace with the world’s technological progress.
In addition, foreign capital will boost economic variation and the gradual shift from the consumption economy to production economy, besides consolidating competitiveness of local products to help them have a more share of domestic markets, which will consequently offer a remedy for the chronic deficit in the trade balance, Aqeel noted.
He urged the GCC states to exert more efforts to develop a favorable environment to attract foreign capital. Aqeel underlined the need to take a multitude of measures, mainly promoting the existing policies and regulatory and legal frameworks on foreign investment, and developing new ones, in addition to carrying on with efforts to abolish obstacles, and offering more incentives and exemptions.
He noted that GOIC has always been hard at work to streamline the flow of foreign capital into the Gulf markets through several programs, referring to one for industrial investment. It is also working on a study on the promising investment opportunities in countries of the region.
GCC’s 15th industrialists’ conference is held for two days with the participation of the Kuwaiti Ministry of Commerce and Industry, the Public Authority for Industry, the GCC Secretariat, the Union of the GCC Chambers of Commerce, the Industrial Bank of Kuwait and GOIC.
KUWAIT: Kuwaiti Minister of Commerce and Industry Yousef Al-Ali speaks at the event. — KUNA