Expanding a Business in Kuwait
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Kuwait Entering the Market
The tiny oil-rich nation of Kuwait has had a turbulent recent history. With the war destroying much of the nations infrastructure and oil fields, a rebuilding programme followed its liberation, with the plucky Kuwaitis once again emerging as an economic force in the region. Neighbouring Saudi Arabia, the country thrives on its massive oil reserves. The modern hub of Kuwait City, with its skyline dominated by the famous Kuwait Towers, is where the highest concentration of the population live and work and is the centre for the country's economy and government. Kuwait enjoys a strong relationship with the West and, despite being an Islamic country, has a liberal, open economy that encourages foreign involvement.
Why Expand to Kuwait
As with other oil-rich economies in the gulf, Kuwaitis understand the necessity of diversifying their economy for future generations. With the country relying heavily on imports, it is keen to find business partners to exploit potential markets. Geographically located next to the re-emerging Iraq, opportunities for UK expertise and services exist for those interested in starting, incorporating or licensing a business in Kuwait. Kuwait also offers openings for investors in construction, with the government planning to build a new city, highways, a university, a port, a power station and redevelopment projects in Kuwait City over the coming years. The Kuwaiti establishment also place healthcare and the environment high on their agenda. Consider starting a business in Kuwait in these sectors.
Main Industry Sectors
- Oil - With the fifth largest reserves in the world, oil remains the dominant industry.
- Manufacturing and Production - Manufacturing is smaller than the Kuwaits oil industry, but the country produces agricultural fertilisers and chemicals, such as chlorine. Other light industries include textiles, mineral and metallic products, sulphur processing, detergents and construction materials, furniture, paper, and cement.
- Shipping - The two main ports of Shuwaikh and Shuaiba are the centres for Kuwaits imports, with several main importers holding warehouse storage facilities at the port.
Growth Sectors and Business Opportunities
- Oil and Gas - Accounting for 95% of the governments revenue, oil and gas remains Kuwait's main area for both business and investment in the economy.
- Construction - Construction is dependent on revenue from oil prices but the government have extensive development plans in the pipeline. Although financing and timescales are yet to be finalised, the sheer scale of the governments ambitions offer UK investors huge potential for setting up a business in Kuwait in areas ranging from urban redevelopment to energy technology.
- Financial Services - The government is keen to diversify away from oil and exploit the country's geographical location by making Kuwait a hub for trade and finance, particularly through building stronger relations with its neighbours, such as Saudi Arabia. UK consultancy and finance expertise would be welcomed in the region and British services enjoy a strong reputation.
- Environment - With its often-arid desert climate, projects such as desalination are high on the governments agenda, with Kuwaitis keen to redistribute oil wealth on environmental projects.
Challenges Foreign Companies Face
Although Kuwait maintains a reputation as a liberal and open society, it is still an Islamic state and customs need to be respected. During Ramadan it is forbidden to eat, drink or smoke in public during daylight hours and it is important to be mindful of social etiquette, particularly in meetings. However, with low corruption and crime and a strong infrastructure, Kuwait is free of many of the pitfalls faced when investing in foreign economies. Before setting up a business in Kuwait make sure you have a detailed and well structured business plan. If you want to know how to do business in Kuwait speak with one of the many experts present on Startup Overseas.
Organisations that can assist with Entering the Market
When expanding your business to Kuwait, donít forget to protect your brand. We provide Trademark Registration Services in Kuwait and in all the Middle East.
Need to register a company or setting up a company?
Simplified Global Payroll Managing payroll in multiple countries is complicated with different systems, deadlines, and languages in each country, lack of reporting, and constantly changing laws and regulations. Trying to manage global payroll via fax and email with excel spreadsheets leads to data security issues, fines, and penalties for non-compliance. Blue Marble has solved global payroll challenges with cloud-based technology, customized aggregated monthly reporting, and a hybrid service model in 150+ countries around the world.
Do you need advice from an expert in your field, on the ground? Need help finding the best route to market for your product or service?