Last month, the UAE launched NextGenFDI, a campaign aimed at attracting digital companies to set up in the country as part of a joint effort to draw more foreign direct investment and position itself as a global tech center. A couple of international businesses have already started investing and shifting their headquarters to the country.
According to the World Investment Report 2022 issued by the UN Conference on Trade and Development (Unctad) in June, UAE ranks first in the Arab world and 19th globally in terms of FDI inflows. The country attracted $20.7 billion worth of FDI last year, up 4 percent from 2020.
Taking a step further, the UAE has launched NextGenFDI, a campaign to attract digitally-enabled companies and highly skilled talent to the country. The campaign aims to leverage the country's unique competitive advantage and global standing as a leading business, investment, and innovation hub to support the growth of the nation’s economy.
“We want to be one of the top 10 countries globally to attract FDI so that overall KPI has been already set and all these initiatives are contributing to [its] achievement,” said Dr. Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, Minister of State for Foreign Trade, who will be overseeing the initiative's success.
This next-generation initiative will ensure that our set-up process is as slick as our technology ecosystem. We are offering hyper-practical measures to make it painless and rewarding for companies from Africa, Asia, Europe and the Americas to relocate here via #NextGenFDI pic.twitter.com/e4PPrBFLmC— د. ثاني الزيودي (@ThaniAlZeyoudi) July 6, 2022
Seven strategic partners have signed up under the initiative so far, these include Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM), Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), Dubai South, DMCC, Dubai Internet City, Emirates NBD, and WIO. More partners are expected to join in subsequent phases.
Here's everything you need to know about the initiative:
- NextGenFDI will focus on companies led by software developers, data scientists, computer programmers, and digital asset entrepreneurs.
- The first phase of the NextGenFDI initiative aims to attract 300 digital companies within six months to a year.
- The initiative helps businesses get through fundamental processes to make the market entry efficient and seamless. These include rapid and flexible incorporation processes to speed up licensing, bulk visa issuances, banking facilitation, and commercial and residential lease incentives.
- It will focus on companies led by software developers, data scientists, computer programmers, and digital asset entrepreneurs.
UAE has introduced several reforms including the expansion of longer-term residency visas to broader categories of residents, wide-ranging changes to personal and labor laws, measures to allow full ownership of onshore companies by foreigners, and the decision to change the UAE’s working week from Monday to Friday to align with other major economies. This initiative adds to this portfolio thus promising growth and strengthening of the business and economic sectors of the nation.