4th edition, 2014

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Focus on Kuwait

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Kuwait is a country embarking on the road to a prosperous future. In february 2010, as per the directions of His Higness the Amir of Kuwait, Sheikh Sabah Al Ahmad Al Sabah, the National Assembly of Kuwait approved a five-year development plan in order to further develop the country. This five-year plan comprises a long-term plan, the State Vision Kuwait 2035. By eliminating the difficulties for local and international investors, reducing bureaucratic restrictions, as well as enacting new laws to protect and encourage investments, among others, the State of Kuwait intends to attract new investments and become a financial and economic hub in the region and the world.

In order to fulfill these plans significant investments such as a new business hub, the Silk City at Subiyah, the construction of a major deep-sea container port at the Shatt Al Arab, new railway and metro systems, the establishment of new cities to host the increasing population, are to be undertaken. Moreover, the oil and gas sector will also be modernized in order to raise production capacity. Indeed, petroleum accounts for approximately 60 per cent of Kuwait's GDP, 95 per cent of export revenues (OPEC).

A strategic location

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Kuwait, which is bordering three major markets (Iran, Iraq, Saudi Arabia), enjoys a strategic geographical location. Major cities are the capital, Kuwait City, together with Jahrah, while the main residential and business areas are Salmiya and Hawalli and the main industrial area is Shuwaikh.

Kuwait is a wealthy country with approximately 3.5 million people, of whom approximately 1.3 million are non-nationals (worldpopulationreview). The official language is Arabic. However, English is also widely used as a business language. Nearly 98% of the population in Kuwait is urbanized, and about 83% of the total population resides in the capital, Kuwait City.

Investment opportunities for Belgian and Luxembourg companies

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Oil & Gas:

Kuwait is home to one of the largest oil reserves in the world and a major player in the global energy market. The authorities are looking to increase oil production to 4 million barrels per day by 2020.

Construction :

Kuwait has several large construction projects including the silk city, Boubyan Island, Metlaa Township, and Al-Khiran Pearl City. These projects provide opportunities for foreign investors in terms of development planning, construction contracting and facilities management.

Financial Services:

The Kuwaiti financial system is well developed which makes it an attractive destination for foreign institutions to offer specialized services.

Healthcare:

Kuwait has the 3rd largest total healthcare expenditures in the GCC. Since efforts are made to open the sector to private and foreign investments, private sector investments are expected to reach $1.8bn by 2016.

Transport:

Kuwait is developing major air, road, rail, and maritime infrastructure projects in order to increase passenger transport activity and provide opportunities for foreign investment.

Eduction:

It is a central part of the government’s strategy which includes 31 projects such as establishing an educational TV station, using personal computers, smart boards and other relevant technologies. At the same time, there are developments in the private sector to create private schools and universities.

Tourism:

The number of tourists is expected to grow from 305,000 in 2012 to 491,000 by 2022, creating need for greater hotel capacity.

Power:

According to Oxford Business group Kuwait has 5 power plants which can generate an installed capacity of 12,500MW. The country plans to create a further 10,000 MW of capacity until 2015 to deal with the rising energy consumption.

Did you know ?

  • Kuwait has the world’s highest value currency, the Kuwaiti Dinar : 1KWD = 2.65€
  • Commercial export of crude oil began in 1946
  • Failaka Island, which history dates back to the early stone age, is considered the most beautiful of Kuwait’s Islands.
  • To open a business in Kuwait you need to go through 12 procedures and expect 35 days to do so

Investment-friendly regulations

In 2001, the Kuwait Foreign Investment Bureau was established to coordinate Kuwait direct investment agenda. In an effort to facilitate and encourage foreign investment in Kuwait, new measures have been introduced.

Hence, foreign investors enjoy several benefits such as:

  • Up to 100% equity ownership in 14 sectors including infrastructure projects (water, power, waste water treatment or communications); investment and exchange companies; insurance companies; information technology and software development; hospitals and pharmaceuticals; air, land and sea freight; tourism, hotels, and entertainment; housing projects and urban development.
  • A 15% flat rate tax
  • Partial or full custom duties exemptions
  • Guarantees against nationalization or expropriation

Kuwait investments in Belgium and Luxembourg

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Through the years, Kuwait National petroleum Company has made important investments in Belgium and Luxembourg. Indeed, Kuwait Petroleum, which made the strategic decision to invest in Belgium, is nowadays one of the biggest players on the Belgian fuel market.

Likewise, established in 1905, the Antwerp blending plant is at the heart of q8 oils’ European operations.

Furthermore, since early May 2014, Kuwait Petroleum International has opened its first highway site in Capellen, Luxembourg. This is Q8’s largest site ever as well as the third largest site worldwide

More information on regulations, procedures and concrete investment opportunities

Visit:

www.kfib.com.kw
www.kuwait.doingbusinessguide.co.uk
www.brussels-in-kuwait.irisnet.be

Contact:

• Kuwait investment Authority: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
• Kuwait Fund for development: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
• Kuwait Chamber of Commerce and Industry: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
• Belgian Embassy in Kuwait: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
• Kuwait Embassy in Belgium: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
• Economic and Commercial Attaché – Mr. Mounif Kilani: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
• Arab-Belgian-Luxembourg Chamber of Commerce: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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