Direct foreign investment in Kuwait soars; PIA: Investments compatible with national legislations, accounting standards

Sheikh Meshal Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah Chief of Kuwait Direct Investment Promotion Authority.
Sheikh Meshal Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah Chief of Kuwait Direct Investment Promotion Authority.

KUWAIT: The recently implemented foreign direct investment law has amply succeeded in attracting a number of foreign projects from well-heeled international companies, said Sheikh Meshal Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, Chief of Kuwait Direct Investment Promotion Authority yesterday. Kuwait has been fortunate in promoting itself as a to-go-for investment center for direct foreign investment (DFI) ever since the adoption of the law no.116 for the year 2013 regarding easing regulations for DFI in the country, he said a forum discussing investments in Kuwait.

Right after the official implementation of the law last December, bids from foreign companies, wishing to set up business in Kuwait, tumbled in an unprecedented manner, he said as he emphasized that the welcoming mat was rolled out by both the private and public sectors for this much-awaited law. Chief among objectives for the adoption of this law, said Sheikh Mishal, is seeking out alternative sources of income, besides the income from oil, noting that the success of the new law is due in a great part to its overcoming negative aspects that speckled the old law prior to the 116 for 2013 one.

In enticing DFI in Kuwait, a number of criteria has been set by Kuwait Direct Investment Promotion Authority, mainly that the project to be undertaken by the foreign investor in the country should be of high tech nature, able to generate jobs for young Kuwaitis, adds high value to the national economy, and requires quality in implementation and application, he said.”
It is immaterial the number of foreign companies we attract to the Kuwaiti market, as what we seek is reputable and well-anchored companies,” he stressed. Among companies of that caliber that are planning to set up business in Kuwait are IBM and Huawei, he said. The forum was attended by representatives from the domestic private sector and those from international foreign companies eager to hear about the benefits of the new FDI law.

Public Investment Authority
Meanwhile, the Public Investment Authority (PIA) has affirmed that its investments are compatible with national legislations and internationally recognized accounting standards. Concerning recent claims about its investment office in London, the authority said in a press statement yesterday it has a professional team of experts and staff, like that at global institutions, either in its offices in Kuwait or overseas. The authority expressed its pride in real estate through restructuring its portfolio which had a positive effect on the public funds, noting that all measures have been taken in accordance with administrative and legal frameworks.

It accepts willingly any constructive criticism serving the public interest, it said, adding that it doesn’t reject any investigations by the Public Prosecution regarding this file. The PIA said it is supervised by the State Audit Bureau which has a tightly and regulatory series, and two other professional offices in the world. The PIA, thence, urged the Public Prosecution to take action against anybody who could press baseless accusations and claims against it. It voiced its full confidence in fair judiciary, stressing that all Kuwaiti people are proud of it. The authority noted that ungrounded claims about its activities will have harmful effects on its international reputation. – Agencies

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