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Inward investments to Kuwait gather steam
October 21, 2017, 3:56 pm
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Direct inward investments to Kuwait during the period April 2016 to March 2017 increased by5.75 percent from a year earlier to touch KD363.8 million, reveals a new report from the Kuwait Direct Investment Promotion Authority (KDIPA).

In its second annual report that was presented on 15 October, the KDIPA provided an overview highlighting its achievements for the year under review. The Authority noted that since early 2015, the total amount of approved and licensed direct investments reached KD707.8 million. The KDIPA pointed out that licenses were given to 22 legal entities from 14 different nations, mainly in the services sector, including in the fields of Information and Communication Technology, healthcare, renewable energy and maintenance services.

The authority clarified that the new investment licenses would help create more than 1,000 direct jobs for Kuwaiti nationals, as well as thousands of indirect jobs across the economy. In addition, these investments would also provide specialized training programs to qualify the national talents and raise their capabilities, and support local research and development (R&D) in different fields.

KDIPA added that attracting such value added direct investments not only contributes to economic diversification and encouraging private sector participation in the economy, it also favorably impacts enhancing of local productive capacity, and fostering sustainable growth, while supporting the developmental pillars of the New Kuwait 2035 vision.

Furthermore, such direct investments boost cooperation and communication between local companies and the licensed international companies. For instance, Huawei and GE, two large foreign entities that recently entered into direct investments in Kuwait, have established the Huawei Center for Innovation & Training, and the GE Kuwait Technology Center, respectively. These centers support innovation in product development, raise efficiency and enhance productivity among local manpower.

The authority clarified that it would be following up on activities of the licensed companies to assess their actual impact on the economy, and ascertain the accrued benefits to the country's economic diversification plan by measuring the scope and size of economic and social outcomes from these investments.

The KDIPA, which was established by Law116 of the year 2013, is mandated with attracting value added direct investment into Kuwait; promoting Kuwait as a lucrative investment destination; receiving applications for investment licensing and granting incentives; servicing investors; in addition to streamlining business environment and enhancing Kuwait’s competitiveness.

In line with its mandate of promoting Kuwait as a lucrative investment destination and attracting value added direct investments to the country, KDIPA partnered with the Kuwait Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) and the US Chamber of Commerce to organize the ‘U.S.-Kuwait Economic Forum’, which was held on 6 September in Washington DC.

The forum, which is the first of its kind, aimed at highlighting the strength of bilateral economic and commercial relations, and the pivotal role of the private sector in both countries. The gathering also looked to furthering collaboration and promoting Kuwait as a dynamic growth market with a host of lucrative investment opportunities.

The US Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross, and Kuwait’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Anas Khalid Al-Saleh, addressed the distinguished guests, highlighting that both sides were eager to further develop ties on numerous levels and especially within the economic, financial, and commercial domains.

The economic forum presented two panels that focused on showcasing the importance of investments and its developmental role in fostering Kuwait-US economic relations. The first panel discussed strategic insights from the Kuwaiti government while the second panel addressed ‘Doing Business in Kuwait’. The forum concluded with practical steps to strengthen business collaboration between the two countries and was marked by the signing of an agreement between Kuwait Petroleum Corporation and The Dow Chemical Company. Another signing of Principles of Cooperation took place between the Kuwaiti Ministry of Electricity and Water and General Electric International Inc.

KDIPA also recently participated in the third Kuwait-India Joint Ministerial Commission held in Kuwait from 18 to 20 September. The Kuwaiti side was headed by Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Anas Khalid Al Saleh, while the Indian side was headed by Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Mubasher Akbar. KDIPA was represented at the meetings by Yousef Alobaidan, from the International Agreement Section.

The meeting furthered the bilateral relations between the two countries in the agreement for cooperation in the field of investment, education, health, employment and civil aviation between the two countries.

Since its inception, KDIPA has been contributing to enhancing its developmental, regulatory, promotional and advocacy roles, in support of the country's economic policy that aims to enhance the role of the private sector and diversify the economy away from its over-reliance on oil, while supporting the New Kuwait 2035 vision of the government.

 

KDIPA Director General Sheikh Dr. Meshaal Jaber Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber

 

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