Abu Dhabi to allow 100% foreign ownership via FDI licenses

Abu DhabiAbu Dhabi is to issue FDI licenses that allow foreign investors 100% ownership of companies in certain sectors. The Foreign Direct Investment Law was first approved back in 2018 when the UAE government approved an increase in foreign ownership from 49% to 100% in selected industries. It came into force in April when the UAE cabinet finalised the list of business activities allowed under the law. These comprise 122 activities in 13 sectors including agriculture, industries and services such as legal consulting, accounting, auditing and tax advisory services. The “negative” list of sectors where ownership will remain limited to 49% include banking and insurance. The move comes at a time when FDI levels are down globally due to the disruption caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. The Investment Trends Monitor report from the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development showed that global FDI flows were down 49% in the first half of 2020 compared to the same period in 2019.
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