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Kingdom attracted FDI worth SR30bn in 2014

RIYADH: Foreign direct investments (FDIs) in Saudi Arabia dropped by 6.9 percent to $8.012 billion (SR30bn) in 2014 compared to $9.298 billion in 2013, local media said, quoting data released by a UN body.

Saudi Arabia, meanwhile, ranked third among western Asian countries of having received the highest FDIs behind Turkey which ranked first at $12.146 billion in 2014 and the UAE, ranked second, at $10.1 billion, the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) report said.
It said Oman was the fourth biggest FDI recipients in the region at $1.180 billion, followed by Qatar at $1.040 billion, Bahrain at $957 million, and Kuwait at $486 million.
However, the FDI inflows to the western Asian countries continued to fall for the six consecutive years in 2014 at 4 percent to reach $43 billion, the report said.
The UN body attributed the continued fall of the FDIs to occurrence of crises in the region, starting from the global economic crisis and the outbreak of political strife, particularly in countries directly hit by political developments with their impact on the neighboring countries.
In the GCC countries, FDIs remained stagnant which dropped by 4 percent to $22 billion despite the fact the GCC countries have enjoyed political stability and maintained a robust economic growth in the past years, the report said.
Regarding infrastructure projects, the report said Saudi Arabia and Qatar have embarked on ambitious plans with special focus on railway projects where in 2013 more than $30 billion contracts were awarded for Riyadh and Doha metro projects. Of $157 billion contracts awarded by the GCC countries, companies in Saudi Arabia captured the highest portion of those deals at $66 billion, followed by the UAE ($52 billion), Qatar ($22 billion), Kuwait, Bahrain and Oman ($17 billion), the report said.

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