Kuwait

Riding on the crest of the black gold wave, with its ups and downs

B1

LOW RISK for enterprise

  • Economic risk

  • Business environment risk

  • Political risk

  • Commercial risk

  • Financing risk

  • Economic risk

  • Business environment risk

  • Political risk

  • Commercial risk

  • Financing risk

Updated in January 2024.

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GDP USD184bn (World ranking 57, World Bank 2022) 
Population 4.3mn (World ranking 128, World Bank 2022)
Form of state Constitutional Emirate 
Head of state Meshaal al Ahmad al Sabah
Next elections 2027, legislative
  • Strong oil prices and well-controlled inflation contribute to sustained real GDP growth and fiscal surpluses
  • Significant external buffers, with a substantial sovereign wealth fund and ample official reserves, provide a cushion against economic uncertainties
  • Financial institutions with strong capital and liquidity ensure stability and resilience in the face of economic challenges
  • Heavy reliance on the oil and gas sector, which accounts for the majority of tax revenue, makes the economy vulnerable to fluctuations in global oil prices
  • Sluggish progress in the long-term diversification strategy, New Kuwait Vision 2035, limits options for reducing dependence on the hydrocarbon industry and for international investors at large
  • Slow-moving bureaucracy and ongoing disputes between the government and parliament hinder the progress of critical infrastructure projects and fiscal reforms

Trade structure by destination/origin

(% of total, 2022)

Exports Rank Imports
United Arab Emirates 17.9%
1
17.9% China
China 14.2%
2
10.5% United Arab Emirates
Saudi Arabia 14%
3
8.3% United States
India 12.9%
4
5.9% Japan
Iraq 6.8%
5
5.6% Saudi Arabia

Trade structure by product

(% of total, 2022)

Exports Rank Imports
Petroleum, petroleum products and related materials 44.5%
1
11.7% Road vehicles
Organic chemicals 8.8%
2
5.3% Iron and steel
Road vehicles 8.4%
3
5.1% Telecommunication and sound recording apparatus
Gas, natural and manufactured 6.3%
4
4.8% Other industrial machinery and parts
Plastics in primary forms 3.9%
5
4.6% Medicinal and pharmaceutical products
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