FM OUTLINES KUWAIT FOREIGN POLICY OBJECTIVES AT FORUM
KUWAIT CITY, March 22, (KUNA): Governor and Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Central Bank of Kuwait (CBK), Dr Mohammad Y. Al-Hashel emphasized Wednesday that the main objective of Kuwait’s fiscal, monetary and monitoring policies is sustainable prosperity. All financial indicators such as liquidity, profitability and asset quality affirm the strength, resilience and fl exibility of Kuwait’s banking sector, Al-Hashel said in his speech during the second day of the Kuwait Investment Forum 2018.
He pointed out that Kuwait’s economic indicators are encouraging and attractive to investors. The country has great potential and distinguished geographical location, as well as policies help turn these potential into investment opportunities for achieving the sustainability of welfare, he clarified. He suggested that even challenges are providing great investment opportunities in the national economy.
The country had a distinctive geographical location and huge oil reserves, which accounts for eight percent of the world’s reserves, and well-developed legislative and institutional systems guarantee principles of efficiency, fairness and transparency, he added. He elaborated Kuwait had large financial buffers that were built up over a period of time thanks to prudent fiscal policies that were based on two pillars investment and saving.
These buffers enabled the country to carry out gradual structural economic reforms and helped retain monetary and financial stability, he argued. As for the indicators of the strength of the Kuwaiti economy, Al-Hashel said that the non-oil GDP growth has increased in the last three years as the non-oil sector had absorbed the shock of oil prices falling in 2014.
He predicted that the non-oil sector would maintain moderate and positive growth rates in the coming years with the help of the low inflation rates. He pointed out that the state had kept capital spending at high levels in the past years, accounting for 11 percent of total spending and reached 14 percent last year.
Kuwait’s current account recorded a surplus last year after a slight deficit in 2016 for the first time in Kuwait since 1990, he said, attributing that the current account surplus to the recovery of oil prices on global markets and the country’s economic reforms.
On monetary policy, the CBK chief said, Kuwait has a long record of sophisticated prudential monetary policies. Kuwait had been pegging the national currency to a basket of world major currencies which served the economy well, he stressed. He affirmed the stability of the exchange rate of Kuwaiti dinars according to studies and technical indicators. The purchasing power of the Kuwaiti dinar in recent years rose by about 1.5 percent, he said.
Al-Hashel boasted the high quality of the assets of local banks, especially the financial portfolios. The non-performing loans declined to 1.9 percent by the end of 2017, a percentage that was not reported by local banks even in the period leading up to the global financial crisis in 2008, he noted.
The second edition of KIF2018 is held under the patronage of His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah between March 20 and 21 at the Jaber Al-Ahmad Cultural Center (JACC) in Kuwait City