LONDON, Jan. 14, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Diversification is a crucial project for economies across the globe, but is particularly vital for the oil-dependent nations of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC). With key crude oil benchmarks fluctuating wildly over the course of 2018, a shift towards non-oil infrastructure and development initiatives has proved vital for these economies to improve their resilience. The World Finance GCC Investment and Development Awards recognise those within the region that are implementing rapid and sustainable programmes to reduce reliance upon oil and safeguard future prosperity.
An overarching economic downturn across GCC nations in 2017 highlighted the necessity of rapid diversification. Although oil price growth remained in the black in 2018, reaching four-year highs of $82.16 per barrel in September, many GCC nations have learned a lesson from past fluctuations, pouring capital into non-oil projects.
Infrastructure development has accelerated particularly in the face of two key world events: Expo 2020 Dubai and the 2022 FIFA World Cup, to be hosted by Qatar. Dubai has allocated AED 56.6bn ($15.4bn) to construction projects ahead of the event, while Qatar will spend $220bn in the run-up to the Cup, building a range of stadiums, hotels and leisure complexes.
Supplementary to these projects are a variety of labour and salary reforms that aim to boost the private sector, while fostering fairer and more inclusive working environments. Bahrain, for example, is currently rolling out a wage protection scheme that ensures workers are paid adequately and on time.
When it comes to foreign direct investment (FDI), the United Arab Emirates is leading the charge, drawing in around $9bn in 2018. The Gulf nation has also introduced a 10-year residency visa for foreign investors, to further encourage international interest in its development programmes.
The World Finance GCC Investment and Development Awards recognises these key players, and many others, that are striving to create a more prosperous future across all levels of these nations’ economies.
To see a full list of this year’s winners, pick up the latest issue of World Finance, available in print, online and on tablet now.
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