|Inter-Arab investment rises|
|In its latest report, the Inter-Arab Investment Guarantee Corporation estimated that total inter-Arab investments in 14 different countries recorded an impressive 27.8 percent increase, jumping from $2.9 billion in 2002 to $3.7 billion in 2003.
The report, "Investment Climate in the Arab Countries," released by Saradar Investment House, said Lebanon was the largest recipient of Arab capital in nominal terms after being ranked second in 2002.
Lebanon, said the report, received $850 million of Arab investments in 2003, a 30.8 percent growth compared to the previous year and a 277.8 percent increase over 2001. Arab investments in Lebanon also accounted for 22.8 percent of aggregate inter-Arab investment.
Arab investors mainly targeted Lebanon's service sector by investing 80 percent of the capital there. Industry was the second favorite with 13 percent and agriculture third at 7 percent. Saudi investments in Lebanon were 70 percent ($595 million), followed by the UAE with 20 percent, Qatar with 7 percent and Kuwait with 3 percent.
Since 1995, Arab investments in Lebanon hit $3.7 billion, representing 17.8 percent of aggregate inter-Arab investments. According to Saradar Investment House, Arab investment in Lebanon during the 1995-03 period has been growing at a compounded annual growth rate of 23.4 percent.
Beirut,06 28 2004
The Daily Star