Friday, February 24, 2006

Freaking out about takeovers :: Daniel W. Drezner*

It should be pointed out that the United States is not the only country currently wigging out about foreign direct investment. This seems to be the theme du jour across the globe. Some examples . . .
What is UAE policy on FDI? Not very liberal. Here's what the 2005 IMF staff report on the UAE had to say:
The staff welcomed the broadening of FDI opportunities in the export free zones in Dubai. However, it stressed that equally important in promoting foreign direct investment is the establishment of an unambiguous legal framework for the private sector. In this regard, the staff urged the authorities at the Federal and Emirate levels to implement FDI legislation that is market-based and tailored to allow individual Emirates to pursue their respective economic development strategies. The authorities agreed with staff’s recommendation and noted that, in line with efforts to continue the process of economic diversification, the U.A.E. is amending the Commercial Company Law, applicable across the federation, which may see the ceiling on foreign ownership raised from the current 49 percent.
Here's my message to Dubai: Do more to open your borders to foreign ownership of land. Be more open to investment in the UAE without a local partner.** As a member of the club of nationals engaged in trade for mutual benefit, it is time that you did.

And I would like the same access to local IPOs as citizens of the Gulf have. Why not?

*I like the use of the middle initial. Very classy.
**UPDATE: UAE to allow 100% foreign ownership.


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