Both GCC and Sub-Saharan Africa have shown a general increase in both project numbers and capital investment according The fDi Report 2019.

The United Arab Emirates maintained its position as the FDI leader, attracting 24% of the total regional investment in 2018 with South Africa coming in second having increased its projects by 3%. Other notable growth markets included Nigeria, whose project market and capital expenditure increased by 49% and 58% respectively.

According to China-Africa Research Initiative, the aggregate FDI from China into East Africa alone totalled $2.96bn from 2011 - 2017 resulting in the region attracting 30% of the continent’s total FDI in 2017 with 197 projects. Leading economies included Kenya, Tanzania, Ethiopia and Uganda.

In the GCC, Saudi Arabia’s ongoing reforms and robust investments into infrastructure have helped to boost capital investment by 124% in 2018 while also seeing a 27% increase in FDI projects. One of the country’s major deals came through supermajor oil and gas company Total, whose MoU with Saudi Aramco to develop a $9bn petrochemical complex is anticipated to create 8000 direct and indirect jobs.

2019 and beyond

According to a study produced by South Africa’s Rand Merchant Bank, Kenya, Rwanda and Tanzania have been earmarked as the continent’s most attractive investment destinations in 2019 while in the GCC, Dubai’s 41% FDI year-on-year increase (2017 - 2018), looks set to continue as the Emirate diversifies away from a carbon economy towards disruptive tech and business innovation.

In the context of the global markets, AT Kearney’s FDI confidence index report indicated the developed markets still remained more attractive due to the investor desirability of tax rates and ease of tax payment, technological and innovation capabilities and general security environment.