EGYPT – A new survey by the Arab Investment and Export Credit Guarantee Corporation (Dhaman) has revealed that Egypt was the top destination for FDI in the Arab world in the past half decade.
The North African country attracted a total of US$124.5 billion-worth of project commitments between January 2015 and December 2019, according to the Dhaman survey.
Egypt is reported to have accounted for 35.2 percent of the US$340 billion invested in the region throughout the period.
According to the Dhaman survey, 476 new projects, or 10.9 percent of total foreign projects in the Arab world, were launched in Egypt during those five years.
The Dhaman survey further noted that Egypt, the UAE, and Saudi Arabia attracted investements of US$11.2 billion in Q1 2020, accounting for up to 65.4 percent of total FDI inflows into the region.
FDI inflows during the quarter however, fell 27.2 percent y-o-y in value terms and 30 percent by the number of new projects, according to Dhaman.
Japan, the US, France, Philippines, Belgium, Saudi Arabia, Germany, Bahrain, China, and India were the top 10 countries committing FDI to the Arab region.
Dhaman had previously put the 2019 figure for Egypt-bound FDI at US$13.7 bn, also topping the charts in terms of value.
The Kuwait-based agency said at the time that the UAE topped the 2019 charts in terms of the number of projects, followed by Egypt and Saudi Arabia.
According to the more recent report by Dhaman, the three countries remained on top in terms of the number of projects between 2015 and 2020.
Dhaman also recently said that Egypt led the pack, and by a significant margin, when it came to real estate FDI.
Last month, Egypt managed to maintain its credit rating at B+ with stable outlook despite the country undergoing a difficult and challenging economic time occasioned by the raging COVID-pandemic and an oil price crash.
Fitch Rating noted that Egypt’s policy policy commitment to furthering the reform program and ready availability of fiscal and external financing in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic also contributed to the positive rating.
Last month, IMF noted that a Egypt’s economic reform program supported by the IMF’s Extended Fund Facility in 2016-2019, made the country one of the fastest growing emerging markets prior to the outbreak.
It is these reforms that have been recognized by a number of international development organizations including the IMF, the World Bank, and the EBRD that have increased investor confidence in the Arab country.