The "FDI Standouts Watchlist 2023" report ranks Morocco as the third most attractive country for foreign direct investment in 2023, behind only Qatar and India

La región MENA albergará el mayor impulso inversionista de 2023

photo_camera REUTERS/BEN JOB - Abu Dhabi Stock Exchange ADX

The beginning of the year 2023 has not seemed to bring with it an improvement in the outlook for the global economy. The energy and food consequences of the war in Ukraine, the rising cost of hydrocarbons, the general inflationary trend, the climate threat and the humanitarian crises that surround the planet - and which are affecting more and more communities - anticipate what is expected to be a year of global economic recessions. 

However, a small group of countries seem to be spared that prognosis. A new report published by the English-language bimonthly magazine fDi Intelligence (fDi stands for Foreign Direct Investment), which specialises in up-to-date movements of foreign investment around the world, argues that the major economies of the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region will receive the biggest investment boost in the coming year. 

Through an analysis of the macroeconomic trajectory and foreign investment flows of the top 50 investment destinations (using data from the International Monetary Fund and investment monitors fDi Markets), the "FDI Standouts Watchlist 2023" has revealed the ranking of the top 10 most attractive powers in terms of foreign investment. Of these, six belong to the MENA region: Saudi Arabia, Egypt, United Arab Emirates, Morocco, Oman and Qatar. 

The latter is placed at the top of FDI's investment podium, as the magazine explains, because of "the FIFA World Cup at a time when [...] the energy crisis and Europe's subsequent pivot away from Russian gas has strengthened the country's role as one of the world's largest exporters of Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG)". And, to take advantage of the boost, "it has launched a massive expansion - fuelled by foreign direct investment - of its LNG production and export capacity". 


And, behind only India (which has closed 2022 as one of its best economic years for foreign investment, and is expected to be able to keep inflation at bay in 2023), Morocco "is carrying a very strong investment momentum into 2023 thanks to its robust macroeconomic cycle," the report explained. "With the IMF putting gross domestic product (GDP) growth at just 3.1%". 

The 'FDI Standouts Watchlist 2023' has highlighted the importance of Morocco's renewable energy potential as one of the major attractions for foreign investors. In particular, "combining solar and wind potential to also produce green hydrogen". An example of this is the Luxembourg energy company Eren, which is currently working on a green hydrogen project in the Guelmim-Rio Noun region, and could potentially mobilise up to $10 billion (around 100 billion Moroccan dirhams). 


At the same time, the Alawi Kingdom has maintained its position as the third largest recipient of foreign direct investment (FDI) in the manufacturing sector in the entire MENA region (comprising almost 20 countries), behind only Saudi Arabia and Egypt. 

Thus, the "FDI Standouts Watchlist 2023" ranking prepared by FDI is headed by Qatar, India and Morocco, followed by Oman in fourth place, Ireland in fifth, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Singapore, Greece and the United Arab Emirates.

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