Dubai, UAE, 16 July 2018: In the weeks following the United Arab Emirates’ announcement that it will allow up to 100% ownership to foreign companies, stakeholders across the industry commented on the move as having removed one of the potential barriers to enter the market. Gianpaolo Bruno, Italian Trade Commissioner to the UAE, Oman and Pakistan, described the news as “a welcome one”. “This news is highly appreciated by the foreign business community here in the UAE,” Bruno said. “This will greatly improve the business environment and be a great incentive for foreign investment.”
Robert Presser, Vice President, Acme Engineering and GlobeOwl Solutions, a Canada-based company, echoes this. “We were looking at investing in UAE as a hub for gas detection products,” he said, stressing that the news has encouraged the company to do so. “UAE has emerged as a major location for international investment. It’s politically stable, it’s forward-looking, the quality of the infrastructure is good. If you are going to put your money somewhere, UAE is an attractive place to do it.”
Bruno added that this also bodes well for small and medium-sized companies eyeing the market. “As you probably know,” he said, “most of the Italian companies are SMES [and] are sometimes weak in terms of FDI, particularly when there is the need to comply with difficult regulations overseas that they may not understand. Lifting this barrier will, for sure, give potential for new companies to come and invest in the market and try to reap the benefits of the wide range of opportunities.”
Saad Ali, General Manager – Middle East and Africa, SPX Cooling Technologies, a US-based company with presence in the region, shared that the impact of the announcement is yet to be felt. He added that while it remains to be seen whether the announcements materialise and evidence of it becomes visible in terms of new projects, “Dubai, UAE and the Middle East are on the right path”.
Hannah Jo Uy is Assistant Editor at Climate Control Middle East magazine. She may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org