Foreign direct investment (FDI) into Qatar rebounded in 2021, attracting 82 projects, which represented a stupendous 273% growth compared to inbound project numbers in 2019, according to the fDi Report 2022.
The Gulf country accounted for more than 6% of the total inbound FDI projects in the Middle East and Africa region, said the report, prepared by fDi Intelligence, a services from the Financial Times.
The report said one of the most capital intensive investments in 2021 was the US-based Eat Just’s plans for a new $200mn commercial facility in Qatar. It will produce cell-based meat, with plans to eventually add capacity to also produce the company’s egg alternative product called Just Egg.
Qatar also saw as many as 12 outbound FDI projects in 2021, which was more than 2% of the total outbound projects of 571 from the Middle East and Africa region, the report said.
The number of FDI projects into Africa and the Middle East increased from 1,083 in 2020 to 1312 in 2021, a growth of 21%. The regional capital investment rose to $65.5bn and job creation jumped by 23%, it said.
The Middle East experienced project growth of 45% during 2021, attracting more projects than it did in 2019. Africa, despite a small decline in the number of projects, experienced an increase in the value of announced projects to $38.9bn in 2021, a 24% increase from the previous year.
The UAE remained the top destination for inbound projects in the region in 2021. It received 455 investments, accounting for 35% of total projects in the region and 16% of total job creation.
Saudi Arabia had 126 inbound projects, accounting for about 10% of the total projects in the region.
Among the notable inbound FDI projects into the Middle East and Africa region is the $3.5bn green ammonia project of India-based ACME Group coming up at the Duqm special economic zone in Oman.
The large-scale facility will produce green hydrogen and green ammonia to export to demanding markets, such as Europe and Asia, by the end of 2022.
On a region-wise performance, the report said FDI projects into Asia-Pacific increased by 10% in 2021 from a year earlier, with 2,551 projects announced capital investment into the region remained stable in the period, with a 0.7% increase from 2020 to $165.7bn.
The outward capital investment also experienced an increase of 7% in 2021 from the previous year, as $160bn was invested by investors from the region.
The number of FDI projects into Europe increased from 5,648 in 2020 to 6,259 in 2021, seeing a total increase of 11%. The region also saw a 16% increase in capital investment and a 24% increase in job creation from 2020 to 2021.
In 2021 the total number of FDI projects into North America rose to 1,936, up 5% from 2020. The region also witnessed a 28% increase in capital investment to $99.5bn and a 16% rise in jobs to over 181,200 in the period.
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