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WB expresses optimism towards economic reforms in Kuwait
October 22, 2017, 12:04 pm

Director of the World Bank in Kuwait Dr. Firas Raad has expressed optimism about the reform measures taken by the Kuwaiti government, especially in the field of improving the practice of business. In a statement to Kuwait News Agency (KUNA) on Sunday, Raad said that the discussions between the Ministries of Finance and Education in Kuwait, the World Bank (WB) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) on the sidelines of the World Bank's annual meetings were "good and constructive" during which he reviewed the most important challenges facing the State of Kuwait.

He referred to the World Bank Group strategy announced by World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim, which is based on supporting economic growth that guarantees all sectors of the society, enhancing the ability of societies to cope with natural disasters and emerging crises and investing in human capital, especially in health and education.

Turning to the crisis of oil prices decline after 2014, which prompted oil producing countries to address it, Raad stressed that economic growth in Kuwait has not slowed significantly, ranging between two and three percent in 2015 and 2016 and this is due to continued expenditure in big capital projects.

Raad said that the World Bank's estimates in 2017 show that growth will slow because of the agreement between the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and other countries to cut oil production, however, he anticipated growth to rise in the two coming years to about 5.3 percent by 2019 and return to what it was in 2015.

Raad stressed the need to take the necessary measures in the medium and long term to diversify sources of income in Kuwait, pointing out that the developmental vision of His Highness the Amir of Kuwait Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah aims to diversify sources of economy and rely on the private sector to create jobs for Kuwaitis.

"We are optimistic about the measures currently being taken by the government, both on the financial side and on the structural and economic side," he said.

In terms of improving the business environment, Dr. Raad said that the Kuwaiti government has made a lot of achievements last year, including the establishment of the Kuwait Business Center (one window integrated management) under the umbrella of the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, saying such step deserves "thanks and appreciation."

He expressed the hope that the annual Doing Business report issued by the World Bank at the end of this month will include Kuwait's achievements. On the other hand, Dr. Raad spoke about the international conference to be hosted by Kuwait for the reconstruction of liberated areas in Iraq in early 2018 in line with its principles of supporting the Iraqis and due to its supportive humanitarian mission as a center for humanitarian action.

He said that the World Bank is working with the Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development (KFAED) and the Iraqi government to take the preparatory steps to organize this conference, which reflects the noble and humane direction of Kuwait's leadership, government and people towards the brothers in Iraq.

Source: KUNA


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