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GDP growth of 1.6% seen for Kuwait
October 6, 2018, 8:33 am
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NON-OIL ACTIVITY BOOSTS LOCAL OUTPUT: WORLD BANK

The “positive momentum” achieved by the non-oil sector in Kuwait has led to a 1.6 percent increase in Gross Domestic Product, the first positive rating seen in over a year, the World Bank said on Wednesday.

The modest rebound continues in the region, but “new sources of growth and job creation are still needed,” Rabah Arezki, the World Bank’s Chief Economist for the Middle East and North Africa said via video conference.

He cited a new World Bank report forecasting growth in the Middle East to reach 2.8 percent by the year 2020, urging a push toward a new digital economy that would generate higher levels of growth.

According to the bi-annual “MENA Economic Monitor,” growth in the Middle East and North Africa is projected to rebound to an average of 2 percent in 2018, up from an average of 1.4 percent last year.

The World Bank economist added that the oil exporters in the region could prove to be the biggest beneficiaries if prices and demand for oil remain high. The report also offers a roadmap for unlocking the enormous potential of the region’s well-educated youth population, pinpointing embracing the digital economy as part of the broader reforms needed to bring this goal to fruition.

Other reforms include the widespread adoption of new digital and mobile technologies, in addition to investments in infrastructure, the report showed. It recommended setting out goals such as achieving parity among information and communications technology- based economies, describing it as a bold objective that can go a long way in uniting governments and citizens.

The report highlighted the risk of further instability in the region, which could impede growth, pointing out that domestic reforms aiming to increase revenues and contain public spending have been introduced in oil producing nations.

Source: KUNA

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