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Drop to 3 pct in ’23
KUWAIT CITY, Feb 17: The World Bank has projected growth of 5.3 percent in Kuwait’s economy this year, followed by a slight drop to 3 percent in 2023 after it had shrank by 8.9 percent in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The introduction of economic reforms in Kuwait is appropriate at this time in the wake of a “bumper financial year” the country had witnessed, visiting World Bank regional director for Gulf Arab states Issam Abu Sulaiman told a press conference. Just weeks after ratings agency Fitch downgraded Kuwait’s credit rating, he said the event should serve as a “signal” to set in motion reforms that would put its finances and economy on a more sustainable footing, in addition to diversifying sources of economic growth and luring foreign investment into the country.
On the recent rise in oil prices, the World Bank official said it should open the door for Kuwait’s private sector to play a more active role towards economic growth, while higher oil prices could invariably lead to a budget surplus, he underlined. He pinpointed the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and the challenge posed by high inflation as the biggest threats to Kuwait’s economy, both of which could cause global oil demand to reverse course, adding that developing human capital is the key driver of sustainable economic growth. (KUNA)