KUWAIT: Kuwait Direct Investment Promotion Authority (KDIPA) announced yesterday that Kuwait witnessed improvement by +4.80 points in its score in the Ease of Doing Business Index 2020 (EoDB2020). Released by the World Bank Group yesterday, the data shows Kuwait’s improvement rose to 67.40 as compared to 62.60 (amended) in the Doing Business 2019 report (DB2019). Kuwait rank stood at 83 out of the 190 countries.
The report showed that based on this improvement, Kuwait entered, for the first time, the list of top 10 improvers in the EoDB2020, based on accounting a host of reforms that were carried out during the report period (May, 2018 to May, 2019), which contributed to make doing business easier for local enterprises to perform their commercial activities in Kuwait.
KDIPA clarified that these reforms extended to 7 out of 10 components comprising the Ease of Doing Business Index 2020, as follows:
1- Starting a business, recorded an increase of +7 points as compared to last year report as a result of merging procedures to obtain a commercial license and streamlining online company registration through e-link between Ministry of Commerce and Industry (Kuwait Business Centre) and the Pubic Authority for Civil Information (PACI), which reduced the number of procedures and the time needed to issue the commercial license.
2- Dealing with construction permits, recorded an increase of +10.5 points compared to last year report as Kuwait Municipality made dealing with construction permits easier by streamlining its permitting process, integrating additional authorities to its electronic permitting platform, enhancing interagency communication, thus reducing the number of procedures and the time to obtain a construction permit.
3- Getting electricity, recorded an increase of +10.1 points compared to last year report as the Ministry of Electricity and Water made getting electricity easier by digitizing the application process, streamlining connection works and meter installations, and using a geographic information system (GIS) to review connection requests, which reduced the number of procedures for getting electricity.
4- Registering property, recorded an increase of +6.7 points compared to last year report as the Ministry of Justice and Kuwait Municipality coordinated to make property registration easier by streamlining the inspection and registration processes, which reduced the number of procedures and the time to register property, as well as improving the quality of the land administration index by publishing official service standards on property transfers on the MoJ website.
5- Getting credit, recorded an increase of +10 points compared to last year report as Credit Information Network Company (Ci-Net), in cooperation with the Central Bank of Kuwait (CBK), improved access to credit information by guaranteeing borrowers the legal right to inspect their credit data and offering credit scores as a value-added service to banks and financial institutions, in accordance with Law No. 9 of 2019 regulating exchange of credit information.
6- Protecting minority investors, recorded an increase of +2 points compared to last year report as the Capital Market Authority (CMA) in coordination with MOCI strengthened minority investor protections by amending Commercial Companies Law No. 1 of 2016 increasing the notice period from 15 days to 21-day notice for calls of the general assembly meetings.
7- Trading across borders, recorded an increase of +2.1 points compared to last year report as the Kuwait General Directorate for Customs (KGDC) made trading across borders easier by improving the customs risk management system, and by implementing a new electronic clearance system as per several Customs Circulars issued which resulted a reduction in the time required for border compliance for exports and imports.
On this occasion, Head of the Permanent Committee for Streamlining Business Environment and Enhancing Competitiveness in the State of Kuwait (PCK), announced that this notable improvement in Kuwait position in the EoDB2020 was a direct result of the continuous coordination amongst members of PCK to ensure timely execution of the National Agenda for Streamlining Business Environment in Kuwait on one side, and the experts at competent government entities, the private sector, and the civil society organizations on another side.
An outcome that would not have been achieved without the continued support and keen follow up of HH the Prime Minister, who placed improving Kuwait position in international indices, and rendering quality services to the citizens on top of the priorities of the government work program.
The Head of PCK emphasized that this improvement in various components of the EoDB 2020 index is not merely confined to trigger better streamlining for business environment, but it more generally contributes to reach higher efficiency in performing government transactions and providing services to the citizens. This will duly trigger stronger productive economic cycle, as well as increasing the inflow of investments, to attain sustainable growth, economic diversification, and the country’s developmental goals.
The Head of PCK concluded by reiterating that improving business climate is not the goal, but it serves as means to foster better government service delivery, which will require exerting more efforts by all concerned parties in the government, the private sector, and civil society institutions to attain the aspired wishes of HH the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah and HH the Crown Prince Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah in light of Kuwait’s 2035 vision.