Degree Name

Doctor of Business Administration


Faculty of Business


This thesis examines the relationship between bilateral investment treaties (BITs) and the attractiveness for FDI into the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and FDI flows from the UAE, and the focus of the thesis rests on whether BITs play an important role in sustaining FDI, were the global interests of most countries have increased to reach a large share of FDI flows and outflow, among many countries UAE adopt policies aims to diversify the economy to create a favorable market environment. Among these policies is signing BITs, however, the BITs effectiveness has not been tested. This study aims to fill this gap uses panel data from a number of different sources including the OECD bilateral FDI data and World Bank data and uses gravity equation modelling to examine the conditions that lead to changes in FDI flows and outflow. The data provide details on inward and outward FDI for each partner country with a total of 792 observations for the time period 2001 to 2012, including the variables GDP, geographical distance, language and colonial relationships. Four gravity models are used at two points of time. The first set of results is based on the announcement date of a BIT with the UAE and the second set of results shows the impact when the BITs are in force. This research finds that the UAE’s BITs are highly significant to outward FDI only for the time the BITs are signed, and host countries have some important characteristics including the level of GDP, distance and common colony relation but, more interestingly, the relationship is not sustained over the long term. In the case when the BITs are in force, this research finds no statistically significant relationship between BITs and inflow FDI. The thesis contributes to the literature by showing that under better economic conditions, well developed government institutions and a stable political system, BITs will not only have a positive impact on FDI outflows but will also contribute towards improving the growth opportunities and welfare in the country and the ability for local companies to compete internationally.

FoR codes (2008)

150308 International Business, 1503 BUSINESS AND MANAGEMENT, 150205 Investment and Risk Management, 140210 International Economics and International Finance



Unless otherwise indicated, the views expressed in this thesis are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of the University of Wollongong.