Union calls for ob­sta­cles-free in­vest­ments

Kuwait Times - - LOCAL -

KUWAIT: Re­mov­ing ob­sta­cles stand­ing in the way of lo­cal in­vestors will in­cen­tivize for­eign in­vestors to in­vest in the Kuwaiti mar­ket­place, said Kuwait In­dus­tries Union Pres­i­dent Hus­sein Al-Kharafi on Thurs­day.

What would at­tract for­eign in­vestors to Kuwait is their se­cure feel­ing that there are busi­ness laws pro­tect­ing their in­vest­ments aside from a vi­able in­fra­struc­ture for their prod­ucts and ser­vices, said Kharafi ad­dress­ing The 15th In­dus­tri­al­ists’ Con­fer­ence on “FDI in GCC and Its Im­pact on In­dus­try,” which kicked off Thurs­day. FDI is short for For­eign Direct In­vest­ment.

He said in the ab­sence of at­trac­tive and lu­cra­tive in­vest­ments lo­cally in Kuwait, the Kuwaiti pri­vate sec­tor has been set­ting its sights on over­seas in­vest­ments, so much so that it has be­come the largest FDI in­vestor in the Gulf re­gion.

Kuwaiti FDI topped $51 bil­lion right up through 2010, mostly cen­tered in the Gulf, he said, adding that Kuwaiti in­vest­ments in the GCC re­gion con­sti­tute about 50 per­cent of all for­eign in­vest­ments in the re­gion.

The ag­gre­gate of to­tal in­vest­ments in Kuwait does not rep­re­sent more than 16 per­cent of the na­tion’s GDP, he pointed out, urg­ing for ramp­ing up the rate of th­ese in­vest­ments whose ben­e­fits would be seen even­tu­ally in the im­prove­ment of the coun­try’s in­fra­struc­ture and sus­tain­able de­vel­op­ment.

The two-day con­fer­ence dis­cussed sev­eral top­ics in­clud­ing: FDI re­al­ity, de­vel­op­ment and in­cen­tives in the GCC coun­tries, FDI role and im­pacts on GCC economies, and the role the pri­vate sec­tor and small and medi­um­sized en­ter­prises in at­tract­ing FDI. The con­fer­ence also dis­cussed means of im­prov­ing in­vest­ment en­vi­ron­ments in the GCC coun­tries.

The GCC Gen­eral Sec­re­tariat, a num­ber of GCC govern­men­tal bod­ies at­tended the con­fer­ence in­clud­ing the GCC Commerce and In­dus­try Min­istries, in­vest­ment pro­mo­tion and pro­tec­tion in­sti­tu­tions in the GCC Mem­ber States, the Gulf Or­ga­ni­za­tion for In­dus­trial Con­sult­ing (GOIC) and rep­re­sen­ta­tives from the Kuwait Min­istry of Commerce and In­dus­try, the Kuwait Pub­lic Author­ity for In­dus­try, and the Kuwait In­dus­trial Bank. -— KUNA

Hus­sein Al-Kharafi

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