The Arab Investment and Export Credit Guarantee Corporation (Dhaman) said Kuwait in 2021 topped the global and Arab rankings with the lowest unemployment rate of 1 percent and ranked fifth globally in the current account balance ratio and government debt-to-output ratio ranking 33 globally in net Government borrowing or borrowing as a percentage of output, and 22 globally in the current account balance, in billions of dollars.
A local Arabic daily quoting sources indicated Kuwait topped the Arab countries in the majority of global indicators of the country’s risks related to trade last year, taking second spot in the Arab world in the two COFAS indicators for assessing the business climate and state risks (38 globally).
In the 37th annual report on the investment climate in the Arab countries for 2022, Daman pointed out that Kuwait ranked third in the Arab world in terms of GDP growth rate last year (166 globally), 59th globally in the value of output in billions of dollars, and 67th in output according to a tie purchasing power, 38 per capita output, 35 per capita output according to purchasing power parity, 94 per capita inflation, and 84 per capita investment as a percentage of output.
The report stated that Kuwait fell 27 places in the economic freedom index in 2022, to rank 101 globally, compared to 74th in 2021, while it came 6 in the Arab world.
With regard to new foreign direct investment (FDI) projects in the Arab countries during 2021, Daman reported that Kuwait ranked 11th with 7 projects that constituted 0.8 percent of the total foreign investment projects in the region, while the country ranked 13th in the Arab world in the investment cost of projects, which constituted a cost of the seven projects, amounting to $100.8 million, are only 0.3 percent of the region’s total. As for the number of new jobs provided by these projects, Kuwait ranked 11th in the region with 461 jobs.
Kuwait ranked third in the Arab world in the number of inter-Arab projects invested by it in the Arab countries with 15 projects, while the investment cost of those projects amounted to 500.4 million dollars, making the country ranked second in terms of cost.
During the past year, according to “Daman”, Kuwait witnessed the second highest growth rate of incoming foreign direct investment flows to Arab countries with 239.8 percent after Saudi Arabia (257 percent), while the country ranked 14th in the Arab world in the volume of last year’s inflows of $198 million compared to negative flows of $142 million in 2022.
Kuwait also ranked 14th in incoming foreign investment balances with $14.799 billion, compared to $14.601 billion in 2020.
As for foreign direct investment flows issued last year, Kuwait ranked 3 in the Arab world with $3.63 billion, compared to $7.988 billion in 2020, a decline of 54.5%, the largest after Qatar (-94.1 percent).
The balance of foreign direct investment issued by Kuwait at the end of 2021 amounted to about $36.372 billion, an increase of 11.1 percent, compared to $32.741 billion in 2020.
With regard to the value of net cross-border mergers and acquisitions for Arab countries in 2021, the “Dhaman” report pointed out that Kuwait ranked second in the Arab world in selling assets, with sales of 4.077 billion dollars, an increase of 4027.3% compared to 2020 sales of 49.9 million dollars, to come After Saudi Arabia (24.45 billion).
As for purchases for the purpose of acquisition and merger last year, Kuwait ranked fifth with purchases amounting to $284.6 million, down 241.8 percent from its value in 2020 of $526.5 million.