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KUWAIT CITY, Feb 6: A recent government report revealed that companies are asking the government to allow expatriates to own real estate and based on this give them permanent residence permit to some and others 10 years residence permit to attract talent and prevent local businessmen from pulling down shutters or taking their businesses somewhere else, reports Al- Anba daily. This came within the list of suggestions submitted by the companies participating in a questionnaire carried out by the Central Administration of Statistics within the framework of the Direct Investment Survey in Kuwait 2021, which shows companies want procedures and policies to be put in place to stimulate and encourage investment in Kuwait, especially foreign direct investments, including granting permanent residence for a certain segment of investors, in addition to granting long-term residence to some investors, for a period of at least 10 years.
The companies’ proposals include abolishing the sponsorship system for the investors, leniency in the rules and requirements for visitor visas for investors, and reducing the percentage of the local partner or sponsor, in addition to ensuring that the regulations are based and implemented on the principle of non-discrimination between foreign and local companies, and that these regulations are compatible with international law, and guarantee the right to freely make transfers related to investment and protection from arbitrary confiscation, as well as the privatization of government services and clarification of the state’s directions regarding taxes. In detail, the companies participating in the survey suggested many procedures and policies are required to stimulate and encourage investment in Kuwait, especially foreign direct investments, by giving broader powers and administrative and financial independence to the Direct Investment Promotion Authority, providing logistical support to investors and providing investment tools that qualify for success, in addition to expanding the private sector circle and ensuring equal opportunities and encouraging fair competition.
The companies stressed the encouragement of investments that enhance competitiveness and the adoption of a policy of indicative planning for those investments, leading to the development of a strategy to focus on small and advanced industries and focus on strengthening international links between these projects, supporting them and stimulating them to export.
The companies demanded the development of professional skills to provide an opportunity for foreign and local investors in the era of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, enhance political and legislative macroeconomic stability, open markets, arrange the labor market and the financial system, enhance the efficiency of the health sector and develop skills, open markets and arrange the labor market, enhance work dynamism and develop the ability to innovate. The six changes required to grant residency include abolishing the sponsorship system for the investor; granting longterm residence permit to investors for a period of at least 10 years; allowing expatriates to own real estate and granting them residence permits according to ownership; granting permanent residence to a certain segment of investors; facilitating the rules and requirements for visitor visas for investors and facilitating the procedures for recruiting workers.
The ten procedural requirements include reducing administrative bureaucracy and facilitating business; adopting information and communication technology and enhancing its integration; the use of Arabic and English languages in government transactions; providing a consistent and non-discriminatory regulatory environment; remove useless administrative obstacles; eliminate paperwork; the staff should have knowledge of foreign languages; administrative facilities for the foreign investor; simplify government transactions and stability of regulations and laws.