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Attracting foreign capital has grown challenging for Middle East and North Africa (Mena) economies, with the pandemic tightening the screws on those seeking overseas investment.
The Economic Commission for West Asia estimates that the Arab region is likely to have lost 45 per cent of its foreign direct investment (FDI) inflows in 2020, accelerating a longer-term theme of lower inward investment.
Some creative thinking is needed to boost foreign investment in the region, especially in the slipstream of the pandemic.
The region must push liberalisation efforts in order to raise equity through privatisations, stock market flotations and greater use of alternative finance in the form of public-private partnerships.
With enormous wealth, vast oil and gas assets, and high rates of economic growth, there is much to appeal to investors. But reform is needed to provide investors with legal protection and transparency.
Read more on capital flows to the region here, and on smart investment in a post-Covid era here.
In this month's industry report, MEED’s latest water developer ranking shows France's Engie trailing behind Saudi Arabia-based Acwa Power’s estimated total equity capacity by 1 million cm/d. MEED reveals the top 10 GCC desalination developers here.
Wastewater, meanwhile, may not be the most glamorous industry, but given the region's water scarcity, fight against Covid-19 and long-term sustainability drives, amid rising debt, the case for investment is gathering pace.
Must-read sections in the February 2021 edition of MEED Business Review include:
> AGENDA: Creative thinking shapes capital flows to Mena
> SPECIAL REPORT: Bahrain faces stark fiscal challenges
> SPACE INVESTMENT: February marks Mars month for UAE
> UPRISINGS: From Arab Spring to America’s winter of discontent
> OMAN: Sultan Haitham reaffirms reformist role
> MEED’s 2021 WATER DEVELOPER RANKING: Acwa Power takes top spot
> WASTEWATER: PPPs gain popularity
> TECHNOLOGY: The GCC's green hydrogen opportunity
> LEGAL: Oman introduces summary trial process
> LEADERSHIP: Successful firms driven by purpose not profit
> ROAD TO EXPO: Peru seeks to boost exports and tourism
> GULF PROJECTS INDEX: Gulf holds steady despite GCC decline
> CONTRACT AWARDS: December capped a disappointing year
> BUSINESS OUTLOOK: Finance, oil and gas, construction, power and water contracts
We hope you find the February 2021 edition of MEED Business Review informative.
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