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KDIPA attracted KD 115.8 million in new direct investments in one year

KUWAIT: Kuwait Direct Investment Promotion Authority (KDIPA) issued their fifth annual report, which included the authority’s achievements, activities and projects performed during the report period of the fiscal year 2019/2020. In a press release yesterday, KIDPA said the report is within the tasks assigned to it in accordance with Law No 116 of 2013.

The Council of Ministers, upon receiving KDIPA’s fifth annual report, commended the notable efforts exerted by KDIPA in strengthening Kuwait’s economic position, maintaining continued improvement in business environment, and attracting value added investments, to attain aspired economic growth and diversification of income sources.

According to the report, KDIPA attracted new direct investments amounting to KD 115.8 million, which raised the total cumulative approved direct investments since KDIPA started its operations in early January 2015 till end of March 2020 to a total of around KD 1.075 billion (around $3.5 billion), incoming from 21 different countries and local partners. These investments were concentrated in the services sector, covering several vital activities of which information systems, oil and gas services, construction, training, healthcare, and energy.

The report mentioned that regarding the assessment of the economic and social impact of direct investments in Kuwait, KDIPA developed the ‘Economic Benefit Model’ used as a systematic and objective tool for measuring the impact of licensed investment entities which started operations in the local economy, by collecting actual expenditure data on the following criteria: salaries of and training for national workers, advanced technological equipment and systems, local goods and services, government taxes and fees, and social responsibility activities. The resulting total expenditure in the local economy reached around KD 458.1 million over the period from early January 2015 till end of December 2018.

On another hand, KDIPA continued to work on improving its investors service model, and providing needed facilitation in coordination with competent government authorities dealing with 204 actual and potential investors during the report period; KDIPA also continued coordination with the Central Bank of Kuwait to improve reporting direct investment data in Kuwait balance of payment statement to better portray actual status of investment in the country; and launched promotional campaigns for targeting investors, strengthening external relations, as well as participating in official delegations, bilateral committees, business councils and forums, and activating its social media channels to stream updates on economic and investment developments in Kuwait.

Ease of doing business
The report period witnessed improvement in Kuwait’s position in the Ease of Doing Business Index DB2020, as Kuwait entered for the first time among the list of the top 10 improvers after raising its score by +4.8 adding up to 67.4 which helped improve Kuwait’s ranking by 14 places compared to its position in DB2019.

This outcome reflected the concerted national efforts and continued coordination by KDIPA as head of the Permanent Committee for Streamlining Business Environment and Enhancing Competitiveness in the State of Kuwait (PCK) with membership of competent government authorities along with the private sector and civil society organizations.

KDIPA proceeded during the report period to complete the implementation of the third and final phase of the project ‘Study on Improving Kuwait Global Competitiveness: Engine of transformation to Knowledge and Innovation-based Economy’ in cooperation with Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research (KISR), being a developmental project enlisted under Kuwait second medium term development plan, and which is expected to provide an actionable national agenda to help enhance Kuwait competitiveness.

In terms of institutional measures undertaken during the report period, KDIPA continued to implement projects under its first strategy (2016/2017-2020/2021) in line with the National vision 2035. It launched the ‘Kuwait Investment Road Map’ project based on outcome of three technical reports analyzing the legal and regulatory framework for investment in Kuwait, KDIPA’s institutional framework, and the investment policy and promotion (IPP) based on the best international practices, utilizing this outcome to enable better preparation for its second strategy.

KDIPA also continued to foster the adoption of digitalization by completing the plan to develop its IT infrastructure and technologies, as well as dealing with crisis and cyber security. KDIPA renewed its ISO certification 9001:2015 and ISO 10002:2018 after meeting the required criteria. KDIPA also received an award for institutional excellence ‘Committed to Excellence’ from the European Foundation of Quality Management (EFQM), making KDIPA the first governmental entity to obtain it.

As for developing human capital, KDIPA implemented a comprehensive training plan during the repot period covering 67 programs held internally and abroad, and included specialized topics, managerial, and skills development with more than 130 KDIPA employees benefited from these programs contributing to enhance performance.

The last quarter of the report highlights how KDIPA took part in Kuwait’s efforts to combat COVID-19 and curtail its outbreak, abiding by the announced health and precautionary measures, and contributing to spreading public awareness, while keeping open communications channels with investors and responding to their inquiries. – KUNA

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