The UAE accounted for 74% of GCC investments in ASEAN markets over the last five years, according to a new whitepaper released by Dubai Chamber ahead of the first-ever Global Business Forum (GBF) ASEAN in Dubai.
Conducted by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) and commissioned by Dubai Chamber, the report, titled Uncharted Territory: Deepening trade and investment between ASEAN and the GCC, examines the business and investment environment in the ASEAN region and assesses prospects for expanding economic co-operation between the two regions in the post-pandemic era.
According to the whitepaper, the total value of investments from the GCC into the ASEAN region was estimated at $13.4 billion between January 2016 and September 2021. The report will be discussed by public and private sector stakeholders when they gather at Expo 2020 Dubai for the inaugural GBF ASEAN, taking place December 8-9, 2021.
The whitepaper noted that there remains plenty of potential for ASEAN and GCC companies to boost trade of agricultural products, and that knowledge sharing in key sectors can provide a framework for deeper collaboration.
The data showed a trade imbalance between the two regions, with just 2% of ASEAN’s total imports between 2016 and 2020 coming from the GCC. On the other hand, the ASEAN region accounted for just 4% of the GCC’s total exports over the five-year period, amounting to $126 billion, with the majority comprising crude oil (43%) and plastic polymers (20%).
H.E. Hamad Buamim, President and CEO, Dubai Chamber, said the report provides valuable insights on the vast potential that exists between the two regions, which helps businesses on both sides make informed decisions, explore growth opportunities abroad and forge cross-border partnerships that drive sustainable growth.