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Bloomberg: Arab Spring Seen as Unlikely to Yield Big Investment Openings

It will take many, many years for a stable, attractive investment environment to emerge.
16.09.11 | Interesting article at Bloomberg

The political unrest in North Africa and the Middle East is unlikely to produce significant investment opportunities for multinational corporations in the near future, according to three analysts of the region.

“Right now there is a lot of investor fear” about Egypt, Ian Bremmer, president of the New York-based research firm Eurasia Group, said today at the Bloomberg Markets 50 Summit in New York.

“You have to rebuild investor confidence,” he said. It will take “many, many years” for a stable, attractive investment environment to emerge.

Bremmer, Nobel Prize-winning economist and Columbia University Professor Edmund Phelps and Angus Blair, head of corporate development at Cairo-based Beltone Financial, were asked to assess the investment climate as the so-called Arab Spring generates new leadership and economic orders.

For the moment, “any important move toward much greater economic development must be grassroots,” Phelps said. “I’d like to see the U.S. government get behind the idea of grassroots development in Egypt.”

That isn’t likely when the U.S. unemployment rate is 9.1 percent and the 2012 presidential election campaign has begun, Bremmer said.

“There is not a lot of support for getting involved in this part of the world,” Bremmer said, adding that it is more likely that Turkey and the Persian Gulf nations will have to step in with funding for much needed infrastructure development.