Kuwait Direct Investment Promotion Authority (KDIPA) announced that Kuwait witnessed improvement in its overall score in the Ease of Doing Business Index 2019, released by the World Bank Group on October 31, 2018, which rose by +0.75 to 62.20 as compared to 61.45 (amended) in 2018 report. Kuwait rank stood at 97 out of the 190 countries and maintained its position as the eighth top ranking country in the Arab world, and in the top seventh rank worldwide in the paying taxes component. These developments came as a result of the reforms carried out during the period of the report from June 2, 2017 to May 1, 2018.

KDIPA confirmed that Kuwait has recorded two main reforms in 2019 report; the first in the Starting a Business component achieved by the abolition of the minimum capital requirement upon activating the Minister of Commerce and Industry (MOCI) Decision in this regard, and consequently leading to reducing the procedures and costs for establishing and registering companies. Starting a business component recorded a marked improvement by (+4.19) in its EODB score from 77.21 in 2018 report to 81.40 in 2019 report, and ranked 133 out of 190 countries in the 2019 report

KDIPA said that the second reform that witnessed improvement is 2019 report was in the Protecting Minority Investors’ component, which reflected the efforts exerted by the Capital Markets Authority (CMA) in coordination with other relevant entities to increase disclosure requirements for related-party transactions, and to expand shareholders’ role in company management that led to EODB score increase by (+ 3.33) to 58.33 in 2019 report up from 55.00 in 2018 report, and ranked 72 out of 190 countries in the 2019 report.

KDIPA also clarified that other reforms undertaken by Kuwait Municipality effected slight positive change in Dealing with Construction Permits component (+0.15), that will be further build upon in the coming period.

Furthermore, KDIPA mentioned that Kuwait position remained unchanged in 2019 report for the four components of getting credit, paying taxes, trading across borders, and enforcing contracts, While Kuwait position slightly dropped in the three components for getting electricity (-0.03), registering property (-0.01), and resolving insolvency (-0.15).

Concluding its statement, KDIPA commended the existing efforts exerted by the members of the Permanent Committee for Streamlining Business Environment & Enhancing Competiveness in the State of Kuwait (PCK), to ensure timely execution of the National Agenda for Streamlining Business Environment in Kuwait (Tahseen program), developed with technical support by the World Bank and approved by the Council of Ministers.

KDIPA reiterated the need to reinforce reform efforts by further activating coordination and collaboration mechanisms with competent government entities, giving prominence to the role played by the work teams formulated with regards to each of the components of the Ease of Doing Business Index, to move to the next level, which will see more harmonization in the work synergies, documentation of the reforms, and its follow-up.

In this regard,  KDIPA pointed out the importance of focusing on expanding training programs providing the necessary skillsets for government employees to attain more efficient  performance in providing needed services to the local business operations, especially to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), in accordance with the recommendations of the 2019 report, which adopted this year the theme “Training for Reform”, to accomplish a positive impact on the improvement of the business environment, increase investments, and attain the intended economic diversification