GCC states at­tract for­eign in­vest­ments: Min­is­ter

Kuwait Times - - LOCAL -

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.

FDI flow

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.

Fa­vor­able en­vi­ron­ment

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

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