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Leadership Insight Series: Kuwait

Breakfast Briefing with His Excellency Dr. Khaled Mahdi

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On October 12, 2016 the Bilateral US-Arab Chamber of Commerce held a breakfast briefing to welcome the delegation from the Supreme Council for Planning and Development (SCPD) of the State of Kuwait.

Under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmed Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, Amir of the State of Kuwait, the SCPD has a mandate to allocate over a $100 billion for transformative infrastructure projects across all sectors. The mandate known as the Kuwait 2035 plan is particularly focused on cultivating and sustaining a viable SME community and has created a $7 billion fund focused exclusively on investing in and supporting new and existing SMEs.

Dr. Mahdi and his team provided a road map for U.S. companies interested in accessing these mega projects as well as explained the details behind entities and funding that have been put in place to ensure SMEs have everything they need to thrive while doing business in Kuwait.

For more on Kuwait, please see below:

Kuwait vision for 2035 that articulates the Amir’s aspirations and is endorsed by the current Development Plan is: “to transform Kuwait into a world-class financial and commercial centre, with the private sector leading economic activities, fostering competitiveness, increasing productivity, supported by viable public institutions, while maintaining the deep rooted values and national identity, towards achieving balanced economic and human development, supported by adequate infrastructure , legal framework, and enabling business environment. There are five strategic goals for attaining the vision namely: Increasing GDP & wellbeing, Private sector leading role, Supporting human & social development, Improving population policies, Efficient government administration .

Kuwait has launched in May 2009 its first economic development plan (2010/2011-2013/2014), with total investment around US$107 billion over 4-years focusing sectors of transport, utilities mainly electricity generation and water desalination, industrial special zones, a technology park and a logistics zone. The main objective of the development plan is: to raise the share of the private sector in GDP from the base year (2009) from 37% to 44% by end of the four year of the plan; increase the share of the national labor force from 15.5% to 21%; and to raise the share of R&D from 0.2% to 1.0% within the same period. The Plan hopes to establish at least 150 SMEs and 50 BOT projects and train annually not less than 3000 nationals.

The second development plan (2015/2016-2019/2020) has investment of US$ 103 billion of which 30 projects in nine crucial sectors including oil & gas, North Zone Development, electricity & water, Urban Development & housing, Health, Education, transport & communications, tourism & media, and environment.

The second plan targets identified 2013 as base year and included raising the share of the private sector from 26.4% to 41.9%, share of non-oil sector to GDP from 45.1% to 64.0%, share of Kuwaitis in private workforce from 6.8% to 8.2%, and share of R&D from 0.2% to 1.0%.