Middle East attracts record levels of private investment

14 April 1995

Private investment in the Middle East and North Africa rose to record levels in 1993, although public investment continues to play a more significant role in this region than other areas of the developing world, according to a report published by the International Finance Corporation (IFC).

The report, called Trends in Private Investment in Developing Countries, says the increase in private investment in the Middle East and North Africa was mainly due to an improvement in investment ratios in Turkey and Egypt.

Public investment, as a percentage of total investment, has declined, despite its continuing importance. In Egypt, private sector investment overtook public sector investment as a percentage of gross domestic product (GDP) between 1992-93.

Foreign direct investment in developing countries fell slightly in 1993, compared with a year earlier. In the Middle East and North Africa, foreign direct investment dropped by 28 per cent in the same period.

The region accounted for only 5 per cent of new equity issued internationally. And, while bank lending to developing countries more than doubled in the four years to 1993 to $19,700 million, the Middle East and North Africa played only a small part in this increase. Turkey was the only major borrower in 1993, accounting for $2,500 million.

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