Symposium highlights positive impact of taxes on Kuwait’s development

The “Development Dialogue… Reality and Aspirations” symposium, organized by the Economic Society in collaboration with the Sheikh Sabah Al-Salem Foundation and moderated by society member Haya Boudi, concluded that taxes could have positive implications for Kuwait’s overall situation, particularly in improving services.

Key stakeholders, including Wafaa Al-Qatami, Vice-Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Investment Promotion Authority, and Sheikh Ahmed Al-Duaij, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Commercial Bank, emphasized that the implementation of taxes could benefit both the state and citizens, contingent upon a clear government plan outlining milestones, objectives, and the corresponding benefits and quality services for citizens. They stressed the importance of transparency and citizen awareness regarding tax disbursement paths, reports Al-Jarida daily.

While acknowledging existing taxes on listed companies and various government services fees, speakers discussed the global application of taxes such as value-added tax and emphasized the need for Kuwait to implement taxes promptly to avoid missed opportunities and potential tax evasion by Kuwaiti companies.

Al-Qatami supported tax imposition, provided there is a well-defined plan aimed at service improvement and overall development. She highlighted the importance of addressing housing and social issues in the government’s work program led by Sheikh Dr. Muhammad Al-Sabah, underscoring the significance of education and human development in driving sustainable development.

Furthermore, Al-Qatami advocated for the elimination of wasteful practices, particularly concerning overseas treatments and the “Afiya” card, proposing reallocating the budget towards enhancing government hospitals. She urged diversifying income sources away from sole reliance on oil, suggesting investments in sectors like medical and recreational tourism to reduce budget deficits.

Al-Duaij emphasized the success of Kuwaiti banks domestically and internationally, advocating for fair competition to foster innovation.

Regarding public debt, he stated that the government should determine its financing needs and involve the private sector in development projects. Al-Qatami added that the Investment Promotion Authority serves Kuwaiti investors, facilitating large investment entities’ entry into Kuwait while ensuring job creation for citizens.

Highlighting the historic role of Kuwaiti banks in the country’s development, Al-Duaij expressed optimism about their future contributions to local and Gulf economic expansion, citing significant growth in profits and Kuwaitization rates within the banking sector.

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