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The Report: Kuwait 2019

  • ID: 5116267
  • Country Profile
  • January 2019
  • Region: Kuwait
  • Oxford Business Group
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With the sixth-largest proven oil reserves in the world, and an industry that dates back to the early days of oil and gas dominance in energy, Kuwait is among the world’s principal hydrocarbons powers. Yet, given the lower oil prices seen in global markets in recent years, initiatives outlined in the New Kuwait 2035 development plan come at a critical time in terms of enhancing the state’s competitiveness as a destination for foreign direct investment.

The New Kuwait 2035 vision aims to deploy the nation’s oil wealth to diversify the economy. The private sector is vital to this, with partnerships and privatisation, improvements to the business environment, and efforts to attract foreign direct investment (FDI) and harness knowledge from abroad all being key moves. Kuwait seeks to attract $200bn in FDI during 2020-35 to become a global centre for trade and finance.

Various developments point to healthy economic performance in the near term for Kuwait. Chief among them are the upgrade of the country’s stock exchange, which has been approved for inclusion in the MSCI Emerging Markets Index; the rollout of projects such as the Silk City development; major upgrades to the oil and gas downstream segment; and enhanced transport and logistics links that are set to boost added value across a variety of sectors. Furthermore, the New Kuwait 2035 vision should ensure a buffer against the types of fiscal challenges associated with a volatile hydrocarbons industry.

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