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Kuwait

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Summary

Kuwait has a geographically small, but wealthy, relatively open economy with self-reported crude oil reserves of about 102 billion barrels - about 9% of world reserves. Petroleum accounts for nearly half of GDP, 95% of export revenues, and 95% of government income. Kuwaiti officials have committed to increasing oil production to 4 million barrels per day by 2020. The rise in global oil prices throughout 2010 is reviving government consumption and economic growth as Kuwait experiences a 20% increase in government budget revenue. Kuwait has done little to diversify its economy, in part, because of this positive fiscal situation, and, in part, due to the poor business climate and the acrimonious relationship between the National Assembly and the executive branch, which has stymied most movement on economic reforms. Nonetheless, the government in May 2010 passed a privatization bill that allows the government to sell assets to private investors, and in January passed an economic development plan that pledges to spend up to $130 billion in five years to diversify the economy away from oil, attract more investment, and boost private sector participation in the economy. Increasing government expenditures by so large an amount during the planned time frame may be difficult to accomplish.

Central bank

Central Bank of Kuwait

International Reserves

US$ 24.805 billion (Source: World Bank; Data updated: November 2010)

Gross Domestic Product - GDP

US$ 172.778 billion (2009 estimate)

GDP (Purchasing Power Parity)

145.292 billion of International dollars (2009 estimate)

Real GDP growth

2000

2001

2002

2003

2004

2005

2006

2007

0.1%

0.7%

2.8%

17.4%

11.2%

10.4%

5.3%

4.5%

2008

2009

2010

2011*

5.5%

-5.2%

2%

5.3%

*Estimate

GDP per capita - current prices

US$ 46,970 (2009 estimate)

GDP per capita - PPP

$39,498 International Dollars (2009 estimate)

GDP (PPP) - share of world total

1980

1990

2000

2010

2015**

0.31%

0.17%

0.17%

0.19%

0.19%

**Forecast

GDP - composition by sector

  • ●agriculture: 0.3%
  • ●industry: 48.2%
  • ●services: 51.5% (2009 estimate)
  • (Data released on November 2010)

Gross domestic expenditure on R&D (% of GDP)

N/A

(Data released on November 2010)

Inflation

2008

2009

2010

2011*

10.6%

4%

4.1%

6.1%

*Estimate

Unemployment rate

2008

2009

2010

2011*

1.7%

1.6%

1.6%

1.6%

*Estimate

Household saving rates

N/A

(Data released on November 2010)

Public debt (General government gross debt as a % of GDP)

2007

2008

2009

2010

2011*

11.5%

10%

12.9%

10.5%

8%

*Estimate

Public deficit (General government net lending/borrowing as a % of GDP)

2007

2008

2009

2010*

2011**

39.8%

19.9%

19.6%

17.1%

17.9%

*Estimate   **Forecast

Government bond ratings

Standard & Poor's: AA-/Stable/A-1+

Moody's rating: Aa2

Moody's outlook: STA

(Foreign Currency Government Bond Ratings; Data last updated Nov 2010)

Market value of publicly traded shares

2007

2008

2009

US$188.046 billion

US$107.168 billion

US$95.938 billion

Largest companies in Kuwait

Zain (Telecommunications services), Natl Bank of Kuwait (Regional Banks), Kuwait Finance House (Regional Banks), Agility (Other Tranportation), Gulf Bank of Kuwait (Regional Banks)

(2011)

Current account balance

US$ 68.1 billion (2009 estimate)

Current account balance by percentage of GDP

39.4% of GDP (2009 estimate)

Exports as percent of GDP

(Exports of goods and services)

66.4% (2008)

(Data released on December 2010)

Shares in world total merchandising export

0.44%

(Data were released in Nov 2011 and refer to 2010)

Shares in world total commercial services export

0.19%

(Data were released in Nov 2011 and refer to 2010)

Total exports

US$65.03 billion f.o.b. (2010 estimate)

Export commodities

oil and refined products, fertilizers

Total imports

US$26.54 billion f.o.b. (2008 estimate)

Import commodities

food, construction materials, vehicles and parts, clothing

Exports - major partners

Japan 19.9%, South Korea 17%, Taiwan 11.2%, Singapore 9.9%, US 8.4%, Netherlands 4.8%, China 4.4% (2007)

Imports - major partners

US 12.7%, Japan 8.5%, Germany 7.3%, China 6.8%, South Korea 6.6%, Saudi Arabia 6.2%, Italy 5.8%, UK 4.6% (2007)

FDI inflows

2008

2009

2010

US$-6 million

US$1,114 million

US$81 million

FDI outflows

2008

2009

2010

US$9,091 million

US$8,636 million

US$2,069 million

Value of cross-border M&A, by country of purchaser

2008

2009

2010

2011

US$2,147 million

US$124 million

US$-10,810 million

US$1,097 million

Cross-border M&A deals worth over $3 billion completed in 2008

(Acquiring company, Acquired company, Country of the acquired company, Value of the deal)

N/A

(for a monthly update on M&A click here )

Cross-border M&A deals worth over $3 billion completed in 2010

(Acquiring company, Acquired company, Country of the acquired company, Value of the deal)

N/A

(for a monthly update on M&A click here )

Best countries for doing business

World Bank/IFC Doing Business Project

(Economies are ranked on their ease of doing business, from 1 – 183. A high ranking means the regulatory environment is more conducive to the starting and operation of a local firm.)

Overall ranking: 74 out of 183 countries (2010)

Subcategories:

Starting a business: 141 out of 183 countries

Registering property: 90 out of 183 countries

Paying Taxes: 9 out of 183 countries

Getting credit: 89 out of 183 countries

Protecting investors: 28 out of 183 countries

Trading across border: 113 out of 183 countries

Enforcing Contracts: 114 out of 183 countries

(2010)

Global competitiveness ranking

(ranking by country on a basis of 142, the first is the best)

34

(2011/2012)

Index of Economic Freedom

WSJ and Heritage Foundation

Ranking: 61 Score: 64.9 (Moderately Free) (2009)

(100=totally free 0=totally repressed )

Contact

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