KUWAIT, Sept 16 — Kuwait’s bid to galvanise economic growth by introducing new legislation governing foreign direct investment (FDI) was analysed in an internationally-conducted financial report.
The Report: Kuwait 2014, which can be obtained online, has been produced by global publishing, research and consultancy firm, Oxford Business Group (OBG) along with both the Kuwait Direct Investment Promotion Authority (KDIPA) and KIPCO Asset Management Company (KAMCO).
OBG is a global publishing, research and consultancy firm that publishes economic intelligence on the markets of the Middle East, Africa, Asia and Latin America.
Through its range of print and online products, it offers comprehensive and accurate analysis of macroeconomic and sectoral developments, including banking, capital markets, insurance, energy, transport, industry and telecoms.
The report shines the spotlight on the country’s National Development Plan (NDP), which has recently shown signs of renewed momentum, and is now expected to drive long-term growth.
The publication also looks in detail at Kuwait’s efforts to encourage the creation of more small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) as part of a broader drive to diversify the economy.
It marks the culmination of more than six months of field research by a team of analysts from OBG, assessing trends and developments across the economy, including macroeconomics, infrastructure, banking and other sectoral developments.
It features a wide range of interviews with leading political, economic and business representatives, including the Governor of the Central Bank of Kuwait Mohammad Al-Hashel, the Director-General of Kuwait Direct Investment Promotion Authority, Sheikh Meshaal Jaber Al-Ahmad Al Sabah, the Director-General of the Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development, Abdulwahab Al-Bader, and the Vice-Chairman of the Kuwait Projects Company, Faisal Al-Ayyar.
International personalities, such as the Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) Christine Lagarde, the Singapore Minister for Trade and Industry, Lim Hng Kiang and the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs for Vietnam, Pham Binh Minh, also give their views on Kuwait’s development.
OBG’s report provides wide-ranging coverage of Kuwait’s hydrocarbons industry, putting both new projects and refinery upgrades under the microscope. The publication also charts the knock-on effect that rising oil production is having on key industries, including petrochemicals, which will be channeled towards East Asian markets.
Long a driving force of Kuwait’s non-oil economy, the banking industry has continued to expand. The Report: Kuwait 2014 considers the impact that legislation introduced in 2009 has had on garnering stability in the sector.
It also considers the growing role earmarked for Islamic financial services, with the domestic sukuk market, in particular, poised for a period of expansion.
Regional Editor, Oliver Cornock, said OBG’s report had noted several encouraging signs across Kuwait’s economy, including a rise in lending and growing activity at the bourse.
Fiscal reforms, he added, were expected to play a key part in helping maintain stability. “Kuwait continues to build momentum across the non-oil and, significantly, the gas economy, while new discoveries in the north of the country, combined with developments in extraction technologies, should boost oil revenues,” he said.
“This broader-based economic activity bodes well for Kuwait, with forecasts indicating that growth should reach 5pct in 2014, up from 4.5pct last year.” Andrew Jeffreys, CEO at OBG, added that the Group’s research had also highlighted the country’s efforts to prepare its public finances for the challenges it faced.
“Despite having one of the world’s highest GDP-per-capita ratios, Kuwait has shown itself ready to address sensitive issues, such as welfare spending and subsidies” he said.