Welcome to Doing Business in Kuwait — 2021 edition. A lot has changed since we published our last version 18 months back, when Kuwait’s business priorities were entirely different from today as the pandemic was yet to begin. The business priorities have also changed since. COVID-19 has become the most significant business disruption in Kuwait since the Gulf War.
While the entire world was struggling to keep pace with the spread of the virus, Kuwait had to consider the impact of low oil prices and the pandemic. The GCC countries that rely on oil revenues were hit harder as oil prices reached record lows due to a combination of falling demand and increased supply as OPEC+ alliance partners failed to reach a consensus in March 2020 on production cuts.
As we publish this edition of Doing Business in Kuwait, we see most Kuwaiti companies are in a recovery phase. OPEC+ expressed growing confidence in global economic recovery by gradually increasing oil production in the coming months.
The rollout of the vaccination program starting January 2021 has infused a dose of optimism in Kuwaiti business owners. We see many strategic decisions, which were previously on hold, have started reemerging.
From the compliance point of view, we saw a few positive changes to ease business operations. Be it providing an advance NOL for foreign companies in Kuwait or creating a digital tax filing system to submit tax online, the Kuwait Tax Authority and Ministry of Finance (MOF) have made technological advancements to make life easier for companies.
Head of Tax and Corporate Services
KPMG in Kuwait