Sheikh Meshaal Jaber Al Ahmad Al Sabah, director general of the Kuwait Direct Investment Promotion Authority, speaks with Global Finance about the emirate’s post-pandemic development plans.
Global Finance: What has Kuwait done to address the Covid-19 crisis?
Meshaal Jaber Al Ahmad Al Sabah: Kuwait showed a high degree of responsiveness to ensure the safety and health of its citizens and residents, including a statewide collaborative effort between health-care providers and frontline officers among relevant government authorities, the private sector and civil society, along with thousands of volunteers. Furthermore, dedicated committees were formed at the highest level to oversee the situation and take action.
GF: What’s on the current agenda at Kuwait Direct Investment Promotion Authority?
Al Sabah: KDIPA looks to pursue its mission as the situation moves toward recovery and a return to normality. Our focus will be to continue to improve the business environment and enhance innovation drivers that foster Kuwait’s competitiveness and attract value-added direct investments that favorably impact economic diversification, unleash creativity and strengthen long-term stability. At this crucial time, we need to adopt economic transformation policies, particularly related to governance, fiscal policies and competition: strengthening public-private collaboration, stimulating technological development, broadening jobs creation and developing skills.
GF: What makes Kuwait stand out as an investment destination?
Al Sabah: Kuwait enjoys many attributes that make it a promising location: rich oil resources, high income per capita, a prudent monetary policy, a resilient banking system, a robust stock market and highly educated youth. One of Kuwait’s economic strengths is its information and communications technology infrastructure, which enabled digital transformation to leap forward during the pandemic. In today’s interconnected world, innovation will provide the opportunity to move towards an inclusive, prosperous and sustainable economy.
GF: Where are growth opportunies now?
Al Sabah: Many opportunities for growth lie in Kuwait’s dynamic projects market, which is being showcased under the third medium-term development plan. These opportunities will better leverage the country’s internal resources in sectors that develop a new and diverse range of products and services in line with Fourth Industrial Revolution technologies.