Removing obstacles standing in the way of local investors will incentivize foreign investors to invest in the Kuwaiti marketplace, said Kuwait Industries Union President Hussein Al-Kharafi on Thursday. What would attract foreign investors to Kuwait is their secure feeling that there are business laws protecting their investments aside from a viable infrastructure for their products and services, said Kharafi addressing The 15th Industrialists’ Conference on “FDI in GCC and Its Impact on Industry,” which kicked off Thursday. FDI is short for Foreign Direct Investment.
He said in the absence of attractive and lucrative investments locally in Kuwait, the Kuwaiti private sector has been setting its sights on overseas investments, so much so that it has become the largest FDI investor in the Gulf region. Kuwaiti FDI topped $51 billion right up through 2010, mostly centered in the Gulf, he said, adding that Kuwaiti investments in the GCC region constitute about 50 percent of all foreign investments in the region.
The aggregate of total investments in Kuwait does not represent more than 16 percent of the nation’s GDP, he pointed out, urging for ramping up the rate of these investments whose benefits would be seen eventually in the improvement of the country’s infrastructure and sustainable development.
The two-day conference discussed several topics including: FDI reality, development and incentives in the GCC countries, FDI role and impacts on GCC economies, and the role the private sector and small and medium-sized enterprises in attracting FDI. The conference also discussed means of improving investment environments in the GCC countries.
The GCC General Secretariat, a number of GCC governmental bodies attended the conference including the GCC Commerce and Industry Ministries, investment promotion and protection institutions in the GCC Member States, the Gulf Organization for Industrial Consulting (GOIC) and representatives from the Kuwait Ministry of Commerce and Industry, the Kuwait Public Authority for Industry, and the Kuwait Industrial Bank.