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Kuwait inches up in ease of business – Improves in 3 indicators

A view of the Gulf Street and buildings of Kuwait City. (Ahmad Surour – KUNA)

KUWAIT CITY, Oct 31: The 2019 Doing Business Report, released Wednesday by the World Bank Group (WBG), notes that Kuwait’s ease of doing business score improved during the past year from 61.4 to 62.2.

The improvement was driven by Kuwait’s improved score in Starting a Business and Protecting Minority Investor. 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.

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.

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. Kuwait’s rank improved in getting electricity from 97 to 95, reduced the number of days from 85 to 65 days.

Kuwait ranks at 97 on the ease of doing business, compared to 96 in last year’s report. The main reasons behind the modest decline in ranking with respect to the previously published ranking (96) are the significant changes in other economies’ business regulatory environment.

The government-wide effort to pursue these reforms was led by the 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. “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 Ghassan Alkhoja, World Bank Resident Representative for Kuwait.

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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