KDIPA welcomes WBG report on business reforms improvement

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Authority appreciates efforts of Municipality

KUWAIT CITY, Nov 1, (KUNA) : Kuwait Direct Investment Promotion Authority (KDIPA) said the 2019 Doing Business Report of the World Bank Group (WBG), came in recognition of the reforms made between June 2, 2017, and May 1, 2018.

The improvement featured clearly in two indicators – starting business and protecting minority investor, the Authority noted in a statement to KUNA, citing the WBG report released earlier Wednesday. Kuwait ranked 97th on the ease of doing business among the 197 countries surveyed, KDIPA said, attributing the achievement to the relevant decision of minister of commerce and industry.

The improvement in the protecting minority investors indicator is the fruit of cooperation between the Capital Market Authority and the competent authorities to increase transparency and in financial disclosures, and highlight the role of investors in management.

KDIPA appreciated the efforts of Kuwait Municipality to facilitate starting business and issuing licenses for construction. It also commended the efforts of “the standing committee on improvement of business atmosphere and competitiveness of Kuwait” to enforce the national agenda called “Tahseen (improvement) Program.”

The program, backed by the WBG, was approved by the cabinet last year; it ensures intra-agency collaboration to realize the objectives of reforms, the Authority went on. KDIPA called for leveraging the capacity building program geared for civil servants with a view to further enhancing the performance of government bodies and promoting the role of SMEs in the national economy. It also called for benefiting from the recommendations of the 2019 Doing Business Report particularly in the axis of “training for reform” in order to attract more foreign direct investment and attain the target of economic diversification.

The 2019 Doing Business Report showed that Kuwait’s ease of doing business score improved from 61.4 to 62.2. in 2017, as Kuwait improved in three indicators, the World Bank Group (WBG) regional office in Kuwait said on Wednesday.

The improvement was driven by Kuwait’s improved score in Starting a Business and Protecting Minority Investor. Kuwait ranks at 97 on the ease of doing business, the office said in a press release. In a span of one year, Kuwait improved in three indicators. Kuwait’s achievement this year is strengthening minority investor protections by requiring an independent review of related-party transactions and clarifying ownership and control structures, it added.

Protecting Minority Investors indicator improved from 81 to 72. Kuwait also, reduced the time required to Start a Business from 38.5 to 35 days and it reduced the number of procedures involved with starting a business from 9.5 to 7, it added. This progress was achieved through online registration and the establishment of a “one stop shop” for all business registration procedures and the elimination of minimum capital requirement (percent of income per capita) from 8.5 to zero, the office noted.

Kuwait’s rank improved in Getting Electricity from 97 to 95, and it reduced the number of days from 85 to 65 days, it said. The Government-wide effort to pursue these reforms was led by Minister of Commerce and Industry Khaled Al-Roudhan, and members of the Permanent Committee for Streamlining Business Environment & Enhancing Competitiveness and working groups set up for pursuing business environment reforms in the country, according to the release.

“While Kuwait has made notable improvements, the reform process for improving the business environment in Kuwait is still in early stages and requires continuous cooperation between government agencies, private sector institutions, and civil society to implement the actions adopted in the National Agenda for Improving the Business Environment,” said World Bank Resident Representative for Kuwait Ghassan Alkhoja.

The Doing Business project, launched in 2002, looks at domestic small and medium-size companies and measures the regulations applying to them through their life cycle. By gathering and analyzing comprehensive quantitative data to compare business regulation environments across economies and over time, doing business encourages economies to compete towards more efficient regulation; offers measurable benchmarks for reform; and serves as a resource for academics, journalists, private sector researchers and others interested in the business climate of each economy.

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