Kuwait News

National Assembly discusses amendment to public tenders law, including abolition of local agent requirement

During a recent session, Kuwait’s National Assembly deliberated on the first report of the Financial and Economic Affairs Committee, which details proposed amendments to the Public Tenders Law, focusing on the elimination of the local agent requirement, reported Al-Rai Daily.

According to the rapporteur of the committee, Daoud Marafi, the amendments aim to promote market openness and serve the public interest. Marafi highlighted that tenders in the region tend to be among the highest-priced in the surrounding areas. By removing the local agent requirement and permitting foreign companies to establish branches in Kuwait, the proposed changes foster competitiveness among all investors.

Addressing the failures of the local agent system in Kuwait, Abdul Karim Al-Kandari stated that the introduced law has sparked opposition since its inception. He emphasized that eliminating the local agent requirement is essential for opening up trade, ensuring fair market prices, and improving the quality of products in Kuwait. Al-Kandari argued that the presence of a local agent has led to increased costs for consumers and producers, with Kuwait being more expensive than neighboring countries. Mubarak Al-Hajraf stressed the importance of passing the law to encourage foreign investment and job opportunities for national workers.

Other representatives echoed this sentiment, highlighting the need to eliminate monopolies, fight corruption, and create a level playing field for both local and international companies. It was clarified during the session that the proposed amendment does not abolish the local agent entirely.

Rather, it allows foreign investors to conduct business in Kuwait without the requirement of a local agent. The role of the Direct Investment Promotion Authority was also emphasized as the governing body responsible for regulating the entry of foreign investors into the market. The committee underlined the necessity of maintaining certain controls while supporting the entry of foreign investors.

The discussions in parliament further emphasized the importance of improving the business and investment environment to attract foreign companies. Parliamentarians expressed concerns over existing residency laws and the treatment of foreign investors, highlighting the need for reforms and a supportive atmosphere for business growth.

The deliberations in the National Assembly indicate an ongoing commitment to economic reforms and the opening of Kuwait’s market to international investors. While the proposed amendment does not abolish the local agent system entirely, it represents a step towards creating a more competitive business environment, fostering job opportunities, and fostering the growth of the national economy.

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