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Mon 2 Oct 2017 10:41 AM

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Kuwait CEOs say positive about local business conditions

Three-quarters plan to make 'significant capital investment' in Kuwait within a year

Kuwait CEOs say positive about local business conditions
The vast majority (80 percent) of Kuwait-based CEOs said they felt “positive” or “very positive” about business conditions in the country, in a new survey to gauge market sentiment.

The vast majority (80 percent) of Kuwait-based CEOs said they felt “positive” or “very positive” about business conditions in the country, in a new survey to gauge market sentiment.

In addition, almost three-quarters (74 percent) of respondents to Oxford Business Group (OBG)’s latest Business Barometer survey for Kuwait said they were “likely” or “very likely” to make a significant capital investment in the country over the next 12 months.

Almost all (94 percent) of business leaders described Kuwait’s current tax environment as “competitive” or “very competitive” on a global scale, OBG said. It noted that this was a topical issue since a number of new taxes are expected to be introduced in the near term as part of Kuwait’s fiscal form programme.

Meanwhile, in a country where the state continues to play a major role in Kuwait’s economy, 45 percent of survey respondents said government spending accounted for at least 60 percent of their business, according to OBG.

OBG asked 85 CEOs from various economic sectors in Kuwait a range of questions aimed at gauging business sentiment.

Oliver Cornock, OBG’s editor-in-chief and managing editor for the Middle East, said that while the pace of economic reform in Kuwait has been slower than elsewhere across the region, huge projects taking shape under the country’s $112 billion five-year National Development Plan to 2020 and the New Kuwait vision for the years up to 2035, were helping to boost investor sentiment.

“These high levels of government spending on infrastructure and reform programmes will be key in helping Kuwait to work towards its increasingly pressing goal of developing the private sector into a more significant engine of growth,” Cornock said.

“A number of business leaders we surveyed shared their concerns about the tempo of change in Kuwait and the importance of maintaining momentum when it comes to reforms and investment.

“However, our business barometer points to a broadly favourable outlook among CEOs who are keen to play a part in the next phase of the country’s growth story.”

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