Published on Arab Voices

Supporting Investment & Business Environment in Kuwait

Downtown Business area, Kuwait city
Photo: Fatma Al-Mufarih | world Bank
Kuwait was historically a financial hub and a regional trade zone and, even over the last decade, it has experienced steady levels of economic growth. Yet the recent decline in oil prices and lower levels of investment raises the prospect of greater economic uncertainty for the country in coming years.
To overcome these challenges, Kuwait needs to diversify its economy, improve its links to international markets, and focus on attracting not only natural resource-seeking Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) but also market and efficiency-seeking FDI. 
As part of this overall effort, the Kuwait Direct Investment Promotion Authority (KDIPA) approached the World Bank Group about supporting government-led measures to improve the country’s business environment in areas measured by the Bank’s global Doing Business report. Their approach to the Bank was motivated by the Kuwaiti government’s own moves towards creating a more open, business-friendly, and transparent environment for foreign and local firms to operate and prosper in.
In May 2016, the Bank’s team delivered a Doing Business Reform Memorandum for Kuwait to the KDIPA. The document detailed specific recommendations for reforms in areas measured by Doing Business. The document included a description of Kuwait’s 2017 results in the five Doing Business priority areas—resolving insolvency, starting a business, dealing with a construction permit, trading across borders, and registering property. It also provided a set of recommendations for reform based on international good practice. The Bank team prepared a document on national agenda for improving the business environment in the country. The agenda consist of an overall action plan and specific steps toward it, and identifies the government agencies responsible for its implementation.
In November 2016, the Bank team discussed recommendations for reform with members of the Higher Committee and provided information about global experience in the different areas covered by the action plan. In December 2016, a Bank mission visited Kuwait to review current regulatory requirements and procedures, as measured by the Getting Electricity indicator. Finally, a three-day workshop was planned by the Doing Business team for KDIPA and relevant government agencies in Washington to update them on the latest accomplishments in terms of enhancing the business environment.
The Bank team will support KDIPA’s efforts in reaching out to the relevant stakeholders to monitor the implementation progress of the agreed reform measures.


Mohamed Abdulkader

Senior Private Sector Specialist

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