Kuwait is sustaining a stable growth in foreign direct investment (FDI) inflows into the country over the past years. According to the data listed in the Fourth Annual Report from Kuwait Direct Investment Promotional Authority (KDIPA), the country attracted newly approved direct investments totalling KD 155,941,912, raising the cumulative approved direct investments since KDIPA started its operations in early January 2015 until the end of March 2019 to a total of KD 960,037,409 (around USD 3.2 billion).
This considerable growth of direct investment was achieved through continuous collaboration between government authorities and the local private sector and also active bilateral committees and meetings with investors delegations, in addition to collaborating with foreign embassies in Kuwait and Kuwait’s embassies around the world.
According to the report, around 97% of the approved direct investments during the reporting period were concentrated in the services sector, covering Information Technology, Oil & Gas, Constructions, Energy, Market Research, and Consulting. The remaining 3% represented the industrial sector in the Oil & Gas industry for synthetic gas production.
These investments came from 37 global companies, representing 16 foreign and Arab countries from developed and emerging economies. T Netherlands, Canada, Spain, Turkey, France, USA, Belgium, Japan, Italy, India, China, United Kingdom, South Korea, Lebanon, Germany, and the British Virgin Islands. The data showed that a share of 67.43% of the cumulative direct investments came from Europe, followed by Asia with (19.54%) and North America (13.03%).
In terms of investment operations, four tax exemption certificates were also awarded against performance in cooperation with the Ministry of Finance.
During the reporting period, KDIPA continuously monitored the direct and indirect economic impact of the licensed investment entities. These efforts aim to support Kuwait in pursuing the economic and social objectives within the “National Vision 2035” and its pillars, as well as in its commitment to attaining the Sustainable Development Goals SDGs between 2015 to 2030.
Seven investment entities set up recruitment announcements providing qualitative direct employment opportunities for Kuwaitis. Through its social media channels, KDIPA helped in promoting these announcements, which are expected to multiply the number of indirect jobs at the local economy.
Moreover, nine licensed investment entities provided quality training programs in various fields to qualify Kuwaiti youth and to develop their skills and enrich their experience. These programs supported a total of 764 trainees and beneficiaries, 250 of which were Kuwaitis and 510 from all over the world.
Furthermore, there were two investment entities that extended support to SMEs. One of them signed memorandums of understanding (MoU) with the National Fund for SME Development, while the other signed MoU with the Sabah Al Ahmad Centre for Giftedness and Creativity, managed by the Kuwait Foundation for Advancement of Science (KFAS) to support the establishment of the Kuwait Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurship.
Another licensed investing entity promoted environmental sustainability, waste management, and Green Building systems. Several licensed investment entities have also provided corporate social responsibility (CSR) services supporting youth skills and women empowerment.