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LATEST INVESTMENTS


BUSINESSSERVICES PUBLICCOMMUNICATIONS France-based 35°Nord, a public relations and communication agency, is to open an office in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire. It will open by the end of 2020, at an estimated cost of $23.2m.


COMMUNICATIONS FIBREOPTICSINTHEDRC Egypt-based Benya, an ICT infrastructure company, has signed an agreement with the government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) to establish an end-to-end national fibre optics network (NFON) across the country. Covering 16,000 km, Benya will design, build and operate the NFON. It will connect all cities digitally, and significantly improve access to high-speed network services for the population of the DRC.


FINANCIALSERVICES BULLMARKET UK-based eToro, an online financial trading platform, plans to expand its operations in Israel by hiring 100 new staff. The positions are in various roles across R&D, marketing, and customer support.


FOODANDBEVERAGES FARMINGINSUDAN IHC Food, a food production company and a fully-owned subsidiary of UAE-based International Holding Company, plans to develop and cultivate


farmland in Sudan in a $225m deal. The project is a joint venture with DAL Group and will see the development of 40,470 hectares and is expected to create 5000 jobs.


REALESTATE BREAKINGGROUNDINEGYPT United Arab Emirates-based Al Habtoor Group, a construction conglomerate, has announced plans to open a representative office in Cairo, Egypt. The office, located in the suburb of Heliopolis, is scheduled to open by the end of 2020 and will act as a liaison office in the domestic market.


RENEWABLEENERGY SOLARPROJECTSINNAIROBI DPA Africa Asset-Co., a developer of renewable energy projects and subsidiary of Mauritius-based Econet Global, is set to develop a solar project in Nairobi, Kenya. The 1MW solar photovoltaic systemwill be located at the East Africa Data Centre, and forms part of the company’s African expansion plans, including projects in Zambia, South Africa and the DRC.


SOFTWAREANDIT E-SPORTSINTHEUAE Riot Games, a video game developer and subsidiary of China-based Tencent, will open a new office in Dubai, UAE, aiming to establish a stronger community presence, with a focus on e-sports participation. The company also plans to open a new data centre in Bahrain.


This investment news and data has been provided by fDi Markets, a crossborder investment tracking service that is part of The Financial Times Ltd’s fDi Intelligence division (www.fdiintelligence.com)


STATS


MEATOPCOUNTRIES FOR GREENFIELD FDI BY PROJECTNUMBER (2003-2019)


0 1 2 3 4 5 6


Source: fDi Markets December 2020/January 2021 www.fDiIntelligence.com


MEATOPCOUNTRIES FOR GREENFIELD FDI BY CAPEX (2003-2019)


100 150 200 250


50 0 Source: fDi Markets 87


MiddleEast &Africa


Viewfromthe


thereareafewFDI-related aspectsintheMEAregion thatshouldbemonitored


D


closely.Inthelightoftheupcoming BidenadministrationintheUS,the futureoftheJointComprehensivePlan OfAction(JCPOA)ortheso-called ‘Iran Deal’willbeakeycomponent,notonly for Iran,butfortheentireMiddleEast. Despite mistrustonall fronts,and


highlycomplexeconomicandpolitical statusquo,are-entryof theUSinto JCPOAwillboost FDIflowsintoIranto pre-Trumplevels.Simultaneously, the US–Iranrelationship willhaveadirect impactonthenewlyannounced AbrahamAccordsbetweenIsraeland theUnitedArabEmirates,andother Arabnations in theGulf. TheAfricancontinentmustbe


seenfromtwodifferentperspectives. Externally,thespotlightwillbeonce againontheBidenadministrationand its Africastrategy,notonlytocompete withthewell-establishedChinese community,butalso toaddress challengessuchasextremepoverty andmassmigrationasconsequences oftheCovid-19pandemicandaglobal climatechangecrisis. Internally, the focusmustbeon


conflict resolution,development of infrastructure, optimisation of governancestructuresandthe fight againstcorruptiontobeable to attract andmaintain FDI.Further,ashift from ‘traditional FDI’ (agricultureand mining) towardsknowledge-based sectors is crucial to harvest the sustainable effects of foreign investment. Thenewdecadewillhaveto


addressmanyexistential global crises whichalreadyhaveadevastating impact,not onlyin theMEA.Butthere isagoodreasonfor hope, after hearing LindaThomas-Greenfield, the futureUSambassadorto theUN,say “Americaisback.Multilateralism is back. Diplomacyisback.”Manyof thesecrisescanonlybesolvedwhen theworldcomescloser together.■


Mazdak Rafaty is managing partner of Ludwar International Consultancy and SME advisor to the joint Emirati-German Chamber of Commerce. E-mail: m.rafaty@lic-consulting.com


espiteatruly unpredictablefuture,


Project number 000s UAE SOUTHAFRICA


SAUDIARABIA MOROCCO EGYPT


Capex ($bn)


EGYPT SAUDIARABIA UAE


NIGERIA SOUTHAFRICA


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