Kuwait picked up the pace to accomplish further milestones to unleash its economic potential and sustainable growth by building on consolidating the national efforts to achieve the pillars of the National Vision 2035 for “New-Kuwait”, of which was the convening of the second edition of the Kuwait Investment Forum (KIF 2018).
Sheikh Dr. Meshaal Jaber Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah, Director General of Kuwait Direct Investment Promotion Authority (KDIPA), said: “KIF 2018 sought to showcase the serious resolve of the government to streamline business environment and to ensure that Kuwait investment climate is sufficiently attractive to interested investors, through the concerted efforts of both public and private sectors to advance the promising sectors, and launch mega projects. This will duly fulfill the overall commitment to diversify the national economy and to foster the country’s real wealth its creative and talented youth.”
These efforts, following KIF 2018, included important steps taken to enhance Kuwait international positon, and build an extensive network of strategic relations with major countries. In this regard, Kuwait signed several agreements and MoUs during the state visit of HH the Amir of Kuwait Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah to China in July 2018. These agreements cover a broad framework of activities including raise trade exchange, infrastructural projects, development of industrial and technologically advanced zones, as well as supporting Kuwait participation in the Belt and Road Initiative.
Furthermore, in September 2018, HH the Amir held a roundtable with leading American business top executives to further strengthen trade and economic relations between the two nations.
Adding to that, the mega projects showcased at KIF 2018 to boost infrastructure development are being implemented as per schedule. These include the construction of the new terminals at Kuwait International Airport, and the new Cargo City at Kuwait International airport (First phase). In the energy sector are projects such as Al-Shaqaya Renewable Energy Complex and the Clean Fuels Project, and in the industrial sector, particularly, is the Al Nayeem Industrial Smart City.In other milestones, Kuwait has been included in the FTSE Russell Emerging Markets Index, which is set to catapult inflows into the capital market, driven by the ongoing reforms by the Capital Markets Authority to encourage establishment of a more transparent and credible investment system to facilitate the entry of foreign investors. Also, Boursa Kuwait launched its OCT platform, the first in the Arabian Gulf, to trade shares of unlisted firms.These developments helped to steadfast improvement direction in Kuwait’s position in international indices especially in its score in the ‘ease of doing business’ index based on recording reforms in starting a business, protecting minority investors, and dealing with construction permits. Kuwait has also improved its score in 47 out of 90 indicators of the Global Competitiveness Index 4.0 in 2018, and its overall rank reached 54th among 140 nations. These improvements resulted by advances witnessed in the legal and regulatory environment.Dr. Meshaal added: “Our vision for KIF 2018 was to showcase achievements that were performed to facilitate starting a business and increase transparency in required procedures to boost investors’ confidence. We are witnessing solid results in forging more global partnerships, new agreements and further investments in strategic sectors. This is complemented by KDIPA launching the Kuwait Investment Outreach Roadshow series; the first was held in London in November 2017, the second was held on November 2018 in Silicon Valley, and the third one is scheduled to be held in Singapore in the March 2019, in partnership with Financial Times Live, and the fDi Magazine under the theme ‘Discover the opportunities in a transformed economy.”KIF 2018 was held earlier this year under the patronage and presence of His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, that followed by a remarkable increase in inward investments as well as all-round progress on infrastructure projects in line with the vision for New Kuwait 2035.Government ministries, departments and all-related entities have ramped up their operations following KIF 2018, where His Highness the Prime Minister Sheikh Jaber Al-Mubarak Al-Hamad Al-Sabah had underlined the focus of the government to promote economic diversification and to transform the nation as a major regional business hub that welcomes foreign investments.