The Report: Kuwait 2017

  • ID: 4437444
  • Country Profile
  • Region: Kuwait
  • 204 Pages
  • Oxford Business Group
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Capital Investment Will Continue Apace With Plans to Invest KD34Bn ($112.5Bn) by 2019

With oil making up approximately 60% of the country’s GDP, Kuwait, like its Gulf neighbours, has had to adjust to the new economic realities caused by lower oil prices. However, strong financial buffers have ensured that the country has been able to weather the storm, while a renewed appetite for investment reform bodes well for private sector players.

In its long-term policy document, New Kuwait, the government has laid out a comprehensive roadmap that targets wide-reaching socio-economic reforms by 2035. Greater private sector activity is envisioned across the economy, as is more employment for Kuwaiti nationals. The plan is also committed to subsidy reform in a bid to reduce the country’s reliance on cheap fuel, water and electricity. In the near term, capital investment will continue apace with plans to invest KD34bn ($112.5bn) by 2019.

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COUNTRY PROFILE
Actioning progress: Major governmental infrastructure plans move ahead
Viewpoint: Emir Sheikh Sabah Al Ahmed Al Jaber Al Sabah
Interview: Prime Minister Sheikh Jaber Al Mubarak Al Hamad Al Sabah
East meets Middle East: Changing times call for new relations with China and Russia

ECONOMY
Seeking investment: Decades of fiscal discipline and wise planning are now beginning to bear fruit
A new day: The most recent ambitious economic strategy aims to deliver on past promises and new goals
Interview: Khaled Mahdi, Secretary-General, Supreme Council for Planning and Development
Interview: Sheikh Meshaal Jaber Al Ahmad Al Sabah, Director-General, Kuwait Direct Investment Promotion Authority
Mind the gap: Despite deficits in recent years, the government has maintained fiscal discipline
Branching out: Non-oil sectors see a flurry of new activity
All together: Public-private partnerships help to realise several key projects

BANKING
An ever-adapting approach: Ongoing reforms work to sustainably strengthen the sector
Interview: Mohammad Y Al Hashel, Governor, Central Bank of Kuwait
Safeguarding growth: Authorities are working to ensure a resilient banking industry

TRADE & INVESTMENT
Broadening horizons: Attracting foreign investment becomes key to diversification

CAPITAL MARKETS
Full steam ahead: New management and reforms mean a revitalised market
Interview: Khaled Abdulrazzaq Al Khaled, Vice-Chairman and CEO, Boursa Kuwait
Crystal clear: The bourse’s reform programme is based on transparency

ISLAMIC FINANCIAL SERVICES
Into the spotlight: The industry is looking to increase its presence with additional regulation and more robust oversight
Interview: Mazin Al Nahedh, Group CEO, Kuwait Finance House
Managing change: New regulations aim to ensure good governance of sharia boards

INSURANCE
Scope for expansion: Consolidation and overturning the decline in net profits are top priorities for the sector
Health overhaul: Introduction of compulsory medical coverage for expatriates will be a boon to the market

TRANSPORT
Progress in transit: Development plans pave the way for Kuwait’s promising future as a strong trade centre
Interview: Sami Fahad Al Rushaid, Chairman, Kuwait Airways
Vision to action: The sector is making solid progress towards the country’s long-term goal of becoming a trade and financial centre

ENERGY
Renewed emphasis: Exploration and diversification are creating more opportunities
Interview: Jamal Jaafar, CEO, Kuwait Oil Company
Fair share: Citizens and the private sector become more involved in the ownership of energy facilities
Latest model: Public-private partnerships in the energy sector are one more branch of the country’s diversification strategy
Catch the sun: Solar power is making significant progress in cutting costs, reducing emissions and reserving fuel for export

CONSTRUCTION & REAL ESTATE
Foundations for the future: Kuwait is in the midst of an infrastructure construction boom
Interview: Khaled Al Mashaan, Vice-Chairman and CEO, ALARGAN
Building health: Industry-leading hospitals are a high priority for the sector
Rising to the challenge: New projects in the pipeline are helping to tackle high demand for housing across all segments
Interview: Yasser Hassan Abul, Minister of State for Housing Affairs
Dream homes in sight: Ownership rates rise and market prices soften for the first time in years

ICT
Making connections: The government works to keep pace with a tech-savvy population and grow private sector jobs
Fostering innovation: State agencies and successful businesspeople help cultivate an entrepreneurial spirit
Interview: Qusai Al Shatti, Acting Director-General, Central Agency for Information Technology

TELECOMS
Loading up: Industry players look to get ahead in an increasingly digitised world
Interview: Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Badran, CEO, VIVA Kuwait

INDUSTRY
A national powerhouse: State support drives sector expansion through incentives and industrial zones
Interview: Faisal Awwad Al Khaldi, Deputy CEO, Kuwait Steel
Feedstock value: The petrochemicals segment broadens its product base in response to low oil prices

RETAIL
Healthy prospects: High spending power and increasing demand in certain segments support steady expansion

HEALTH
Keeping pace: Population growth fuels rapid development of health servicesInfrastructure boom: Large-scale projects in the development pipeline will cater to growing demand for heath care
Interview: Dr Ahmed Al Saleh, CEO, Health Assurance Hospitals Company

EDUCATION
A time of transition: Extensive government reforms signal change in Kuwait’s education sector
Raising quality: Efforts are being made to reform education at every level
Interview: Adnan Shihab-Eldin, Director-General, Kuwait Foundation for the Advancement of Sciences

TAX
What comes next: A series of new laws pave the way for investment

LEGAL FRAMEWORK
Call for renewal: Important laws have been recently updated and amended
Viewpoint: Philip Kotsis, Partner, Al Tamimi & Co

THE GUIDE
A good rest: Selected hotels
Listings: Phone directory of government and business organisations
Facts for visitors: Useful tips for business visitors and leisure travellers

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