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U.S. Department of State 
Kuwait Country Commercial Guide 
Office of the Coordinator for Business Affairs 
 
 
 
 
 
                       1996 COUNTRY COMMERCIAL GUIDE 
                                  KUWAIT 
 
 
 
 
U.S. & Foreign Commercial Service 
American Embassy 
Kuwait 
 
 
 
 
This Country Commercial Guide (CCG) presents a comprehensive look at 
Kuwait's commercial environment through economic, political and market 
analyses. 
 
The CCGs were established by recommendation of the Trade Promotion 
Coordinating Committee (TPCC), a multi-agency task force, to consolidate 
various reporting documents prepared for the U.S. business community.  
Country Commercial Guides are prepared annually at U.S. Embassies 
through the combined efforts of several U.S. government agencies. 
 
 
 
                              KUWAIT 
 
  Country Commercial Guide 
  Fiscal Year 1996 
 
  Table of Contents 
 
Chapter 
 
 
I.  EXECUTIVE SUMMARY 
 
  A. Why Export to Kuwait 
  B. Brief Synopsis of Commercial Environment 
  C. Kuwait's Business Attitudes Toward the U.S. 
  D. Major Business Opportunities 
  E. Major Roadblocks to Doing Business 
  F. Principal Local and Third Country Competitors 
 
II.  ECONOMIC TRENDS AND OUTLOOK 
 
  A. Major Trends and Outlook 
  B. Principal Growth Sectors 
  C. Government Role in the Economy 
  D. Balance of Payments Situation 
  E. Infrastructure Situation 
 
III.  POLITICAL ENVIRONMENT 
 
  A. Nature of Political Relationship with the United States 
  B. Major Political Issues affecting Business Climate 
  C. Brief Synopsis of Political System, Schedule for Elections 
     and Orientation of Major Political Parties 
 
IV.  MARKETING U.S. PRODUCTS AND SERVICES 
 
  A. Distribution and Sales Channels 
  B. Use of Agents/Distributors; Finding a Partner 
  C. Franchising 
  D. Direct Marketing 
  E. Joint Ventures/Licensing 
  F. Steps to Establishing an Office 
  G. Selling Factors/Techniques 
  H. Advertising & Trade Promotion 
  I. Pricing the Product 
  J. Sales Service/Customer Support 
  K. Selling to the Government 
  L. Protecting Your Product from IPR Infringement 
  M. Need for a Local Attorney 
 
V.  LEADING SECTORS FOR U.S. EXPORTS AND INVESTMENT 
 
  A. Best Prospects for Non-agricultural Goods and Services 
  B. Best Prospects for Agricultural Products 
  C. Significant Investment Opportunities 
 
VI.  TRADE REGULATIONS AND STANDARDS 
 
  A. Trade Barriers, including Tariffs, Non-Tariff Barriers and 
     Import Taxes 
  B. Customs Valuation 
  C. Import Licenses 
  D. Export Controls 
  E. Import/Export Documentation 
  F. Temporary Entry 
  G. Labeling, Marking Requirements 
  H. Prohibited Imports 
  I. Standards 
  J. Free Trade Zones/Warehouses 
  K. Special Import Provisions 
  L. Membership in Free Trade Arrangements 
 
VII.  INVESTMENT CLIMATE 
 
  A. Openness to Foreign Investment 
  B. Conversion and Transfer Policies 
  C. Expropriation and Compensation 
  D. Dispute Settlement 
  E. Political Violence 
  F. Performance Requirements/Incentives 
  G. Right to Private Ownership and Establishment 
  H. Protection of Property Rights 
  I. Regulatory System: Laws and Procedures 
  J. Bilateral Investment Agreements 
  K. OPIC and Other Investment Insurance Programs 
  L. Labor 
  M. Foreign Trade Zones/Free Ports 
  N. Capital Outflow Policy 
  O. Major Foreign Investors 
 
VIII.  TRADE AND PROJECT FINANCING 
 
  A. Brief Description of Banking System 
  B. Foreign Exchange Controls Affecting Trading 
  C. General Financing Availability 
  D. How To Finance Exports/Methods of Payment 
  E. Types of Available Export Financing and Insurance 
  F. Project Financing Available 
  G. List of Banks with Correspondent U.S. Banking Arrangements 
 
IX.  BUSINESS TRAVEL 
 
  A. Business Customs 
  B. Travel Advisory and Visas 
  C. Holidays 
  D. Business Infrastructure (e.g., Transportation, Language, 
        Communications, Housing, Health, Food, etc.) 
 
 
X.  APPENDICES 
 
  A. Country Data 
  B. Domestic Economy 
  C. Trade 
  D. Investment Statistics 
  E. U.S. and Country Contacts 
    1. U.S. Embassy Trade Related Contacts 
    2. AmCham and/or Bilateral Business Councils 
    3. Country Trade or Industry Associations 
       in Key Sectors 
    4. Country Government Offices Relating to 
       Key Sectors and/or Significant Trade 
       Related Activities 
    5. Country Market Research Firms 
    6. Country Commercial Banks 
    7. Washington-based U.S. Government Country Contacts 
  F. Market Research 
  G. Trade Event Schedule 
 
 
 
 
Chapter I.  EXECUTIVE SUMMARY 
 
A.  Why Export To Kuwait? 
 
Despite its small size, Kuwait buys large amounts of American products 
and services, and will likely continue to do so.  In 1994 Kuwait 
imported $1.175 billion worth of goods from the U.S., a 16.5% increase 
over 1993.  (Some 1994 exports are part of much larger multi-year sales, 
e.g., $4.5 billion in U.S. defense sales to Kuwait since 1991 are 
exported over several years.)  Kuwait is the sixth largest market for 
U.S. exports in the Middle East and North Africa; and the U.S. is 
Kuwait's largest trading partner. 
 
Kuwait imports a wide variety of U.S. military, industrial and consumer 
products.  Leading military imports in the past three years have 
included aircraft and parts, air defense systems, radars and tanks.  
Leading industrial imports include oilfield equipment/parts, aircraft 
parts and generators.  Leading consumer imports include passenger 
vehicles and trucks.  Other significant imports include:  air 
conditioning and refrigeration equipment, carpeting, cigarettes, 
computers, construction equipment, fire fighting equipment, fishing 
boats, hardware, housewares, medical equipment, office furniture, 
pleasure boats/yachts, process controls, processed foods, 
telecommunications equipment and water treatment equipment. 
 
B.  Brief Synopsis of Commercial Environment 
 
Kuwait is a highly price-competitive market because it has low tariffs 
(generally only four percent ad valorem), few import barriers and no 
exchange controls.  Procurement for large public sector projects 
dominates the business scene; there is almost no manufacturing and 
little non-oil exporting.  American firms generally need to work through 
a local agent or distributor, and should monitor an agent's performance 
and potential conflicts of interest.  American business negotiators find 
that Kuwaiti buyers have a strong bias in favor of the lowest price, 
despite a higher priced product's technical advantages or long-term 
savings. 
 
C.  Kuwait's Business Attitudes Toward The U.S. 
 
Kuwaitis are interested in American products and business proposals 
because of goodwill toward the U.S. as a result of the Gulf War, local 
media coverage of American news and popular culture, and because large 
numbers of Kuwaitis have studied in the U.S. or travel there regularly 
for business or family vacations.  Kuwaitis appreciate American 
products' high quality and association with a convenient, comfortable, 
modern, affluent lifestyle.  Kuwaitis readily buy American products that 
are competitive in price and quality. 
 
D.  Major Business Opportunities 
 
Prospects for U.S. consumer goods export growth are excellent.  Kuwait's 
oil wealth (10% of world oil reserves) and substantial investments 
abroad (estimated at $36 billion) have created an affluent population:  
its 1.83 million people have a per capita income of $16,535.  As 
Kuwait's young population (48% under 15 years of age, 70% under 24) 
grows up, U.S. exporters will find opportunities supplying items needed 
for household formation, e.g., building materials, furniture, 
appliances, home furnishings and clothing.  Traditionally popular 
consumer items, such as jewelry, cosmetics, women's clothing, giftware, 
fast food and automobiles will remain so.  Progress in intellectual 
property protection may generate opportunities for U.S. suppliers of 
computer software and entertainment products (movies and audio/video 
cassettes). 
 
Export prospects for U.S. industrial products and services are very good 
as Kuwait government procurements, Kuwait's privatization and new 
foreign investments in Kuwait combine to open $15.5 billion in potential 
U.S. export opportunities.  Areas of near-term activity are:  defense 
systems ($4.7 billion), oil facilities ($2.3 billion), housing ($5.2 
billion) and other infrastructure ($3.3 billion).  Plans to expand oil 
production capacity to 3 million barrels per day by 2000 will provide 
opportunities for suppliers of oilfield equipment, process controls, 
pumps, valves, compressors, security systems and other industrial 
equipment.  Plans to build 50,000 new public housing units open 
opportunities for U.S. construction firms.  Defense purchases will 
likely continue for the rest of the decade, but at a slower pace.  
Privatization will create new opportunities for U.S. exports of power, 
medical and communications equipment as well as consulting and training 
services.  U.S. joint ventures in Kuwait, such as the Equate 
petrochemical complex of Union Carbide and Kuwait's Petrochemical 
Industries Company, will be new customers for U.S. exports and may 
create others, such as new plastics, specialty chemical and synthetic 
fiber plants in downstream industries.  Export prospects are tempered 
somewhat by the $5 billion annual deficits the Kuwait government risks 
running the rest of this decade as it sustains a welfare state for 
Kuwait nationals, repays Gulf War and reconstruction debts and pays for 
large defense purchases. 
 
A number of high-value U.S. food products have strong market potential 
in Kuwait:  frozen poultry (parts and whole birds), almonds, frozen 
beef, fresh eggs, fresh apples and pears, hot sauces, salad dressings 
and dips, snack foods, fruit juices, canned fruits and vegetables, 
frozen vegetables, cheeses and coffee whiteners.  Also, growth in the 
local food processing industry is driving up demand for semi-processed 
products such as vegetable oils, particularly corn and sunflower seed 
oils, beverage bases, dried pulses, specialty flours and a variety of 
food ingredients. 
 
E.  Major Roadblocks To Doing Business 
 
Many American exporters, investors or technology licensors do business 
profitably in Kuwait.  Some obstacles, however, may require counseling 
by a local accountant, lawyer or other professional:  import 
restrictions (e.g., ban on pork and alcohol; short food shelf life; 
Arabic labeling, etc.); the requirement of a local sales agent; the 
opaque and prolonged public tendering process; the high local corporate 
taxes for foreign firms; the lack of a double tax avoidance treaty with 
the U.S.; the restrictive immigration and labor laws for non-U.S. 
employees; the reinvestment requirements of Kuwait's offset program; the 
sectoral and minority ownership restrictions on foreign investment; and 
the lack of adequate patent, trademark or copyright protection. 
 
F.  Principal Local And Third Country Competitors 
 
U.S. firms face little local competition as Kuwait has little 
manufacturing.  Third country competition, however, is abundant, highly 
price competitive, often well supported by their governments, and 
vigorously represented by local agents.  After the U.S. (1), Kuwait's 
leading suppliers (with the top five ranked) are:  China, Finland, 
France (5), Germany (3), India, Italy, Japan (2), Korea, Sweden & U.K. 
(4). 
 
Country Commercial Guides are available on the National Trade Data Bank 
on CD-ROM or through the Internet.  Please contact STAT-USA at 1-800-
STAT-USA for more information.  To locate Country Commercial Guides via 
the Internet, please use the following World Wide Web address:  
WWW.STAT-USA.GOV.  CCG's can also be ordered in hard copy or on diskette 
from the National Technical Information Service (NTIS) at 1-800-553-
NTIS. 
 
 
 
Chapter II.  ECONOMIC TRENDS AND OUTLOOK 
 
A.  Major Trends and Outlook 
 
Oil Sector: 
 
The Kuwaiti economy is driven by oil production and related industries.  
Due to a rapid rehabilitation of the country's oil fields and 
refineries, the oil sector has essentially recovered to pre-war levels.  
Kuwait's crude oil production is currently running at 2.0 million 
barrels per day and production capacity is estimated to be 2.5 million 
barrels per day.  The country's refining capacity, likewise, has been 
restored to 800,000 b/d.  In the oil sector, crude production may remain 
constant for some time in conformance with OPEC quotas, although Kuwait 
will expand capacity to 3 million barrels/day by 2000.  Also, future 
plans call for additional refining capacity in-country and abroad. 
 
Non-oil Sector: 
 
Kuwait's non-oil economy has been flat since a reconstruction boom which 
followed the country's liberation.  The poor economic performance can be 
traced in part to the country's changed demographics following the Gulf 
War.  Even now, Kuwait's population is less than 80 percent of the pre-
war population.  Furthermore, many of the Palestinians who lived in 
Kuwait with their families prior to the war have been replaced by 
bachelor expatriate workers who tend to remit their earnings home rather 
than spend them in Kuwait.  These two factors have had a negative effect 
on the consumer-oriented businesses that make up much of Kuwait's non-
oil economy. 
 
Despite the recent sluggishness of the non-oil economy, we believe that 
business is poised for improvement over the short and medium term for 
several reasons.  The country is implementing plans to alleviate the 
problem caused by the demographic mix by allowing more expatriate 
workers to bring their families to Kuwait. 
 
More importantly, in 1993, the government adopted a "difficult debts 
law" which will provide sufficient debt relief and a mechanism by which 
large Kuwaiti investors can recover from losses incurred during the 
Iraqi Invasion and from some losses dating to the Souk Al-Manakh crisis 
(an informal stock market which collapsed in the early 1980's).  Some 
elements of the law are controversial and there is pressure from some 
groups to amend its provisions.  The Kuwait government put forward a 
series of amendments in June 1995 which require National Assembly 
approval (likely after September 1995).  Furthermore, it still remains 
to be seen how many of the bad debts will actually be cleared up by this 
legislation.  Nevertheless, we anticipate that the law will stimulate 
investment simply by removing uncertainty over the legal status of the 
debts.  This, in turn, should promote the repatriation of capital held 
outside Kuwait. 
 
B. Principal Growth Sectors 
 
Non-Oil Sector: 
 
We anticipate a general recovery of the non-oil sector of the economy as 
a result of the debt relief law and other measures.  More importantly, 
however, we see good opportunities for long-term growth in 
telecommunications, housing, power generation and health care as a 
result of government plans to privatize these sectors, as follows: 
 
-  Telecommunications:  Investors are still awaiting a long-promised 
privatization of Kuwait's government-owned telecommunications sector.  
The change, which will bring in Western companies as partners, should 
result in a revamp of the country's telecommunications systems. 
 
-  Housing:  Kuwait provides a generous housing subsidy for Kuwaiti 
citizens.  Although the subsidy tends to distort demand in the housing 
sector, it will likely be continued, creating, along with Kuwait's high 
population growth rate, a continuing high demand for residential 
housing.  There may be movement toward large scale projects, rather than 
individually built units. 
 
-  Power Generation:  Efforts by Western companies to participate in the 
country's power generation sector have not, so far, met with success.  
It remains, however, a possible growth area given the rising demand for 
power in the GCC states and budget constraints facing the Kuwaiti 
government. 
 
-  Health Care:  Kuwait is moving to privatize its health care services, 
including encouraging the establishment of private hospitals and 
studying the possibility of private management of government-owned 
hospitals.  In addition to the opportunities for management and 
construction of the facilities, with increasing pressure on free health 
care services, there may arise opportunities for health insurance and/or 
health maintenance organizations, particularly for expatriates in 
Kuwait. 
 
The local food processing industry will continue to expand, offering 
export opportunities for semi-processed agricultural products.  Major 
growth sectors are:  vegetable oils, beverages (juices and soft drinks), 
dairy products (ice cream and yogurt), dry pulses and snack foods. 
 
Oil Sector: 
 
Kuwait's government-owned oil sector is expected to continue to grow 
with a worldwide demand for Kuwaiti crude and refined products.  One of 
the more exciting areas for growth, however, is the emergence of a 
petrochemicals industry in Kuwait.  This will be brought about by the 
construction of a major $2 billion petrochemicals complex in the Shuaiba 
Industrial Area that will produce ethylene, polyethylene and ethylene 
glycol by mid-1997.  This complex is owned by Equate, a joint venture 
between Union Carbide Corporation and the government-owned 
Petrochemicals Industries Company.  The availability of these 
intermediate petrochemical products is expected to open opportunities 
for a range of chemical and plastics manufacturing industries in Kuwait. 
 
C.  Government Role in the Economy 
 
Kuwait's government plays a dominant role in the local economy.  
However, that role seems destined to decline as the country moves toward 
privatization and rationalization of the economy.  Kuwait's economic 
system, modelled on a socialist welfare state, provides for a large 
measure of government regulation.  These regulations restrict 
participation and competition in a number of sectors of the economy and 
strictly control the roles of foreign capital and expatriate labor. 
 
The Kuwaiti government also owns, outright, interests in many of the 
private companies in the country including most of the nation's banks.  
In some cases, the government bought these shares to ameliorate the Souk 
Al-Manakh stock market collapse in 1982.  In other cases, the government 
ownership was used to provide capital for local industries.  The era of 
government ownership seems to be coming to an end, however.  As a part 
of ongoing privatization efforts, the Kuwaiti government has begun to 
relinquish its interests in these companies, generally by offering its 
shares on the Kuwaiti Stock Exchange.  Private foreign investors may 
participate in this privatization process by purchasing up to 40 percent 
ownership of Kuwait's national industries, subject to prior Kuwait 
government approval. 
 
Finally, the Kuwaiti government is, by far, the largest employer of 
Kuwaiti citizens, 92 percent of whom work for the government or a 
government-owned company.  Through efforts to "Kuwaitize" its work 
force, the government of Kuwait, in effect, has guaranteed employment 
for all Kuwaiti nationals.  While this has had a social benefit, at 
least superficially, it has resulted in many government ministries being 
overstaffed and underproductive.  It has also made it difficult for 
private companies to recruit Kuwaitis for meaningful, but rigorous, 
jobs. 
 
D.  Balance of Payments Situation 
 
Kuwait's balance of payments situation is healthy, with exports 
exceeding imports by a comfortable margin.  Since crude oil and refined 
products comprise more than 90 percent of the value of exports, however, 
the country's balance of payments is highly susceptible to changes in 
oil prices.  The Kuwait government generally takes a conservative 
pricing position for oil revenue in its budget projections. 
 
E.  Infrastructure Situation 
 
Kuwait is a small country and many of the challenges of distribution of 
goods and services found in other, larger countries do not exist in 
Kuwait.  Kuwait has two modern ports, at Shuwaikh and at Shuaiba, which 
handle the vast majority of the country's imported goods.  Both are 
equipped with facilities to handle most kinds of cargo, but Shuwaikh is 
the regular post of entry for most consumer goods entering the country 
by container ship.  Shuaiba, located in Kuwait's refining and 
manufacturing complex, handles some of the country's industrial goods 
imports and is the export point for petrochemicals, sulfur and petroleum 
coke.  Historically, Kuwait has been a major transshipment point for 
trade to Iraq.  U.N. sanctions and the political situation have 
eliminated this trade, reducing the overall volumes and frequency of 
ship calls. 
 
Kuwait's road system is well developed, with modern multilane 
expressways linking all areas of the country.  There are no railways in 
the country.   Kuwait International Airport is located south of the 
city, is easily accessed by expressway, has a number of regular flights 
to local destinations, Europe and Asia and can handle the world's 
largest aircraft. 
 
Kuwait has several major electric power generating plants which, through 
desalination processes, are also the source of the country's potable 
water supply.  The country currently has an adequate generating capacity 
and the plants can be fired by natural gas or fuel oil.  However, a 
surging population and subsidized prices create a rapidly rising demand 
for electricity, particularly as air-conditioning load during the summer 
months.  Planned expansion projects should be able to meet this demand 
for the foreseeable future. 
 
 
 
 
Chapter III.  POLITICAL ENVIRONMENT 
 
A.  Nature of Political Relationship with the United States 
 
Although there are no bilateral treaties between the United States and 
Kuwait, the relationship between the two countries is as strong now as 
it was during the immediate post-Gulf War era.  During the three years 
since the liberation of Kuwait by the U.S.-led coalition forces, a shift 
has occurred in the buying patterns of the Kuwaitis, particularly in the 
government and defense sectors.  The perceived "goodwill advantage" that 
American companies enjoyed because of the role the U.S. played in 
liberating Kuwait has given way to the pressures of strong competition 
from market forces and accelerated marketing efforts of other coalition 
member countries. 
 
American companies are successful in winning a significant share of 
defense-related contracts, which are awarded largely on the basis of 
technical capabilities and price.  U.S. technology is highly respected 
in the Kuwaiti market and efforts are presently underway to develop 
technical standards for industrial and consumer goods that mirror those 
of the United States. 
 
B.  Major Political Issues Affecting Business Climate 
 
In terms of safety and security, U.S. firms should not find anything in 
Kuwait to interfere with normal business operations.  Kuwait has already 
signed defense cooperation agreements with the United States, the U.K., 
France, Russia and China. 
 
The government of Kuwait continues to pursue the "Kuwaitization" of the 
labor force.  Although initial plans to reduce the number of expatriates 
in the country are now seen as unrealistic, public and political 
pressure will continue for all firms and government ministries to reduce 
their dependency on non-Kuwaitis.  An increase in the number of Kuwaiti 
employees will increase the demand for training, consulting, and 
educational services, which non-Kuwaitis as well as Kuwaitis will 
provide in the near future.  The result of such training, however, will 
eventually be to replace expatriates with Kuwaitis, particularly in 
managerial, financial, engineering, computer and other technical areas.  
Kuwait will generally seek information technology to reduce the number 
of employees, especially expatriates. 
 
The government of Kuwait encourages joint ventures between foreign and 
Kuwaiti organizations, but requires by law that Kuwaiti partners retain 
the majority share.  Currently, the bar on majority foreign ownership 
and other laws and statutes governing foreign participation in business 
in Kuwait are under review.  The government plans to revise, and in some 
cases repeal, regulations that have a negative impact on foreign 
investment in Kuwait, especially where the transfer of technology is 
involved. 
 
C.  Brief Synopsis of Political System, Schedule for Elections and 
Orientation of Major Political Parties 
 
Kuwait became an independent state in 1961.  According to its 1962 
constitution, Kuwait's head of state is the Amir, currently His Highness 
Sheikh Jaber Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah.  Succession as Amir is restricted to the 
heirs of the late Mubarak Al-Sabah.  The Al-Sabah family has ruled 
Kuwait since 1756. 
 
Executive power is vested in the Amir, who exercises it through his 
appointed Prime Minister and Council of Ministers.  The Amir formulates 
decree-laws, which are subject to the approval of the National Assembly 
when in session, and establishes public institutions.  The Amir has 
twice (from 1976 to 1981 and from 1986 to 1992) suspended constitutional 
provisions by decree and ruled extraconstitutionally.  The Amir may ask 
for reconsideration of a bill passed by the National Assembly and sent 
to him for ratification, but the bill would automatically become law if 
it were subsequently passed by a two-thirds majority at the next 
sitting, or by a simple majority at a subsequent sitting.  The Amir may 
declare martial law, but only with the approval of the National 
Assembly.  Kuwait is divided administratively into five governorates 
(Ahmadi, Farwaniya, Hawalli, Jahra and Kuwait City), each headed by a 
governor that has ministerial rank and is appointed by the Minister of 
Interior. 
 
Legislative power is shared by the Amir and an elected National 
Assembly, which is subject to dissolution by Amiri decree.  The 
unicameral National Assembly has fifty members (2 each from 25 
constituencies), each of whom serves a four-year term.  After being 
dissolved in 1986, the National Assembly was reconstituted after 
elections in October 1992.  Elections by secret ballot are held every 
four years; the next elections are scheduled for 1996.  As political 
parties are not permitted in Kuwait, candidates nominate themselves.  
The franchise is limited to males descended from families long resident 
in Kuwait and who have undergone a lengthy naturalization process. 
 
The National Assembly elected in 1992 has assumed an active role in 
Kuwait's political life, enacting legislation, including the national 
budget.  National Assembly members are free to criticize the government 
and to require Cabinet ministers to answer their questions.  The 
National Assembly may pass a vote of no confidence in a minister, in 
which case the minister must resign.  Such a vote is not permissible in 
the case of the Prime Minister, but the National Assembly may approach 
the Amir on the matter, and the Amir shall then either dismiss the Prime 
Minister or dissolve the National Assembly.  Parliamentary committees 
often scrutinize government actions, and in 1995 one committee released 
an investigative report, later referred to the Public Prosecutor, 
alleging widespread irregularities and malfeasance in past Defense 
Ministry procurement activities. 
 
The judicial system includes courts of the first degree (criminal 
assize, magistrates', civil, domestic and commercial courts), a 
Misdemeanors Court of Appeal, a High Court of Appeal (for civil cases) 
and a Court of Cassation (in limited cases).  Kuwait has a civil law 
system with Islamic law playing a significant role in personal matters. 
 
Political Parties 
 
While political parties are banned, the government has taken no action 
against a number of political groups that acted much like parties during 
the 1992 elections and the succeeding National Assembly session.  The 
following illegal political organizations exist:  Constitutional 
Alliance, a group supported by the merchant class; Democratic Forum, a 
left-wing, Arab nationalist group; Islamic Constitutional Movement, a 
Sunni Muslim group affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood; Islamic 
Social Reform Society, an Islamic "fundamentalist" group; National 
Islamic Coalition, a Shi'a Muslim group; Popular Islamic Congress, a 
Sunni Muslim group; and Salafiyeen, an Islamic "fundamentalist" group.  
Political activity also finds its outlet in informal, family-based 
social gatherings known as diwaniyas.  Professional groups, bar 
associations and scientific bodies operate and maintain international 
contacts without government interference. 
 
Workers' Rights 
 
Kuwaiti workers, 92 percent of whom are government employees, have the 
right to join unions.  Kuwaiti law, however, prevents the establishment 
of more than one union per functional area or more than one general 
confederation.  Out of a total Kuwaiti and non-Kuwaiti labor force of 
938,800 in 1994, union membership was only 50,000 people, mostly 
Kuwaitis (although foreign workers may also join unions as nonvoting 
members), organized in 14 unions.  All but two of the unions, the Bank 
Workers' Union and the Kuwait Airways Workers' Union, are affiliated 
with the Kuwait Trade Union Federation (KTUF).  The KTUF consists of 
nine civil service unions (35,000 members) and three oil sector unions 
(15,000 members), but the oil unions have equal representation (36 
members) in the 72-member KTUF Assembly.  Collective bargaining by the 
union with the public or private sector employer may be appealed to the 
Ministry of Social Affairs and Labor or ultimately to a labor 
arbitration board, including officials from the Ministry of Social 
Affairs and Labor, the Attorney General's Office and the High Court of 
Appeals.  Kuwait government workers are legally entitled to a minimum 
wage, but workers in the private sector are not.  All workers in Kuwait 
are entitled to employer-provided medical care and compensation for 
work-related injury or illness, including illness resulting from 
exposure to hazardous substances.  Workers in the private sector have 
the right to strike, limited by compulsory negotiation followed by 
arbitration if a settlement cannot be reached. 
 
Kuwait's foreign or expatriate workers, most of whom (700,000) worked in 
the private sector in 1994, have the right to join unions, the right to 
receive a minimum wage in the public sector, the right to medical care 
and workmen's compensation in the event of a work-related injury or 
illness and the right to strike in the private sector.  Expatriates 
dominate the private sector in Kuwait and postwar government efforts to 
reduce their numbers have failed.  In 1995 the government removed 
minimum salary requirements expatriate workers needed to meet to obtain 
visas for their families.  A new draft labor law, currently being 
reviewed by the Ministry of Social Affairs and Labor, will benefit all 
workers, but especially expatriates, by establishing a private sector 
minimum wage, limiting the workweek for laborers, protecting domestic 
servants and deterring visa trading, i.e., the practice of importing 
unskilled laborers to sell their services by selling the laborers' 
residence permits to another sponsor. 
 
 
 
IV.  MARKETING U.S. PRODUCTS AND SERVICES 
 
A.  Distribution and Sales Channels 
 
Distribution and sales of products and services occur at wholesale 
outlets (i.e., larger companies) and in numerous, smaller retail 
outlets.  Either type of outlet may be in either a company's 
headquarters or in separate warehouses and shops.  Consumer goods are 
distributed mainly through numerous neighborhood cooperative markets.  
Suppliers of soft drinks like Pepsi Cola, Coca Cola, Crush, Seven Up, 
etc. provide door-to-door service.  Larger foodstuffs, auto spare parts, 
and soft drink companies also have their own distribution teams which 
sell and deliver goods to retail customers. 
 
There are numerous food importers, many of whom are also wholesalers, 
distributors, and retailers.  A handful of large local companies tend to 
dominate sales.  For example, in Kuwait, cooperative stores account for 
about 80 percent of retail food sales.  Major fruit and vegetable 
importers also import fresh eggs.  There is a growing demand among 
processors/packers of bulk shipments of semi-processed food products to 
also handle the final processing and packaging, especially for corn oil, 
nuts, fruit juices, and snack foods.  Imported U.S. beef products are 
mostly purchased by hotels, restaurants, and catering companies. 
 
B.  Use of Agents/distributors; Finding a Partner 
 
Commercial Law No. 36 of 1964 as amended by Commercial Law No. 68 of 
1980 regulates commercial agency agreements.  Foreign companies wishing 
to operate in Kuwait without setting up a Kuwaiti registered legal 
entity may only do so through a Kuwaiti agent.  The above laws regulate: 
 
-- Commercial agents who undertake to promote a product/service for a 
principal, negotiate deals on his behalf, conclude such deals and carry 
them out. 
-- Distributors who promote, import, stock and distribute the 
principal's products in the distributor's own name. 
-- Service agents or sponsors for foreign companies that want to carry 
out government contract work as per Article 24 of Commerce Law No. 
68/1980. 
 
In the case of foodstuffs, local agency laws are not strictly enforced.  
Food products are sometimes imported by other than the designated 
agents. 
 
To identify Kuwaiti agents of foreign companies, American firms may 
address their inquiries to:  Mr. Saleh S. Al-Batel, Controller of 
Commercial Agencies, Ministry of Commerce and Industry, P.O. Box 2944 
Safat, 13030 Kuwait, Tel: (965) 243-9992, Fax: (965) 241-1089. 
 
No foreign company is allowed to participate directly in a Kuwaiti 
tender.  The foreign company must bid through a local agent duly 
appointed through an agency agreement registered with the Ministry of 
Commerce and Industry. 
 
To be eligible for registration, agency agreements must include the 
following: 
 
- The full range of products and services that the agent is 
representing; 
- The period of the agency agreement (which should be one year with 
renewal and escape clauses); and 
- The agent's fees, usually a percentage of any contracts awarded. 
 
The agency agreement should be registered with the Ministry of Commerce 
and Industry within two months of attestation by the Embassy of Kuwait 
in Washington, D.C and the U.S. State Department.  Agency or sponsorship 
agreements between the Kuwaiti company and the foreign company must be 
translated into Arabic by an official government translator and then 
registered with the Department of Commercial Agencies, Ministry of 
Commerce and Industry.  Registration of an agency should not take more 
than two weeks from the time the documents are available in Arabic. 
 
The agency agreement may include choice of law and choice of forum 
clauses negotiated by the principal and the agent.  The application of 
foreign laws, however, may not contradict the public policy of Kuwait.  
The agreement between the two parties should indicate the nature of the 
agent's work, responsibilities of the parties and the commission to be 
paid to the agent.  There is no statutory minimum notice of termination, 
although contracts should include a termination clause. 
 
An agent is obliged to act for the benefit of its principal and to 
follow the instructions of its principal; to maintain confidentiality on 
behalf of the principal; and to keep the principal abreast of market and 
legal conditions in Kuwait.  Duties of the principal should be listed 
specifically in the contract. 
 
If the agency agreement is terminated by the principal, it will probably 
be necessary to compensate the agent for investments made, and good 
faith efforts undertaken, to promote, sell and service the principal's 
products and services.  Agency termination, whether disputed or not, can 
be a costly matter. 
 
Because of the highly price competitive nature of the Kuwaiti market, 
Kuwaiti merchants view a commission agent or a third party as a 
middleman that can be dispensed with.  Thus, Kuwaiti merchants prefer to 
deal directly with the foreign manufacturer or its sole exporting agent.  
By the same token, Kuwaiti firms normally refuse to be appointed as a 
sub-agent for Kuwait that would be supplied by a general agent in a 
nearby country (such as Bahrain or the United Arab Emirates). 
 
Foreign consulting firms do not need local agents; however, they should 
register with the Consultants and Physical Plan Department at the 
Ministry of Planning to be considered for Kuwait government contracts. 
 
C.  Franchising 
 
Although the Kuwaiti market is relatively small, franchising offers U.S. 
firms profitable opportunities.  The population of 1.8 million have high 
disposable incomes and a strong inclination to buy American goods.  
Labor saving services are in demand.  At present, most franchises are in 
fast food, with McDonald's being the latest arrival.  Opportunities 
exist for franchises in other areas such as:  automotive service 
centers, beauty salons, testing centers, dry cleaning/laundry shops and 
photocopy stores.  U.S. fast food franchises are highly sought after by 
local companies.  Most of the major U.S. fast food companies are already 
established in the market.  A local sponsor is required to establish 
operations. 
 
D.  Direct Marketing 
 
Marketing in Kuwait is a competitive business.  In addition to newspaper 
advertising, direct marketing through personal contacts, i.e. by word of 
mouth, is very effective.  While direct marketing through the mail is 
still in the developmental stage, it is expected to become a more useful 
tool in the near future as the postal service improves.  As the British 
Postal Service recently won a contract to establish organized and 
systematic mail service in Kuwait, such improvement should happen soon.  
Direct marketing by television is also in the developmental stage, but 
holds promise as a way to reach conservative Muslim women in the privacy 
of their homes. 
 
Foreign firms are not allowed to have direct access to the Kuwaiti 
market except through a local agent or distributor, which markets on 
behalf of the foreign principal.  Direct marketing is possible only when 
done by a joint venture that the foreign company sets up with a local 
firm. 
 
E.  Joint Ventures/Licensing 
 
Foreign investors are offered a number of incentives to participate in 
joint ventures with Kuwaiti firms, such as limited liability, relief 
from Kuwait corporate taxes, and management control options.  Because 
all government procurement must be conducted with Kuwaiti citizens or 
firms, joint ventures between foreign investors and Kuwaiti nationals 
offer the best vehicle to gain access to this market.  Kuwait 
discourages joint ventures in the oil, insurance, banking and other 
financial sectors. 
 
A joint venture may be formed by two or more persons, who are then 
jointly and severally liable.  It is usual for the objects and terms to 
be set forth in a joint venture contract.  A joint venture is not a 
legal entity and does not require registration in the commercial 
register.  It is common for a number of foreign contractors involved 
jointly in a major project to form a construction joint venture or 
consortium.  Joint ventures may offer U.S. firms a way to alleviate 
Kuwait offset program requirements. 
 
F.  Steps to Establishing an Office 
 
As indicated above, foreign firms can have direct access to the Kuwaiti 
market only through a local agent/partner.  Any local company shall have 
no legal personality and may not commence business until it is 
registered in the commercial register, and until the official instrument 
whereby it is formed is published in the Official Gazette.  The official 
instrument must include the company's memorandum and articles together 
with a declaration by the founders, which should include a statement 
that they have taken up and paid for the subscribed shares and that the 
paid amount has been deposited in the company's account at a local bank. 
 
After the business license is issued, it will take about six months to 
incorporate a company.  The cost of incorporation is about $10,000.  
Renting an office, furnishing it and recruiting staff follow.  The 
minimum amount of capital required to establish a company is $25,000. 
 
G.  Selling Factors/Techniques 
 
Selling factors in Kuwait include reasonable price, good quality, 
attractive packaging, and effective after-sale service.  Offering 
customers installment purchase plans and discounts for large volume 
purchases are common practices. 
 
Selling techniques vary and include the following: offering a discount 
percentage; offering big sale discounts twice a year; offering free 
service for equipment purchased during a limited period; organizing 
promotional sales and offering reduced prices or give-aways; and 
offering trade-ins. 
 
Key points to stress when selling food products are competitive price, 
U.S. origin, high quality and new-to-market status, if applicable.  
Arabic labels are required.  U.S. companies willing to print Arabic 
labels and provide promotional and marketing assistance will have a 
competitive edge.  Face-to-face contact can significantly increase the 
chances of establishing successful business relations. 
 
H.  Advertising and Trade Promotion (including listing of major 
newspapers and business journals) 
 
Newspaper advertising in Kuwait is the most effective tool for  
communication with the public.  In 1994, advertising expenditure in 
Kuwait reached approximately $80 million, with 66% of the media coverage 
in newspapers.  Advertising is also available on several Kuwait Radio 
stations and on several Kuwait Television channels (Channel one, Arabic 
news and programs; channel two, English news and programs; and channel 
three, Arabic sports programs). 
 
List of newspapers in Kuwait: 
 
Arabic Newspapers 
-  Anba 
    P.O.Box 23915, Safat, Kuwait 13100. Tel. (965) 483-4772 
-  Qabas 
    P.O.Box 21800, Safat, Kuwait 13078. Tel. (965) 481-2818 
-  Rai Aam 
    P.O.Box 695, Safat, Kuwait 13007.  Tel.: (965) 481-7651 
-  Seyasseh 
    P.O.Box 2270, Safat, Kuwait 13023. Tel.: (965) 481-6326 
-  Watan 
    P.O.Box 1142, Safat, Kuwait 13012. Tel.: (965) 484-0451 
 
English Newspapers 
-  Arab Times 
    P.O.Box 2270, Safat, Kuwait 13023. Tel.: (965) 481-6326 
-  Kuwait Times 
    P.O.Box 1301, Safat, Kuwait 13014, Tel.: (965) 240-3727 
 
There are a number of advertising agencies in Kuwait that serve U.S. and 
local companies' needs.  Some of the agencies mentioned below work 
independently, while others have affiliations with U.S. or European 
firms.  Some of the larger agencies are: 
 
-  Camp, Saadeh and Skaff (also CSS & Grey) 
    P.O. Box 24299, Safat, Kuwait 13103. Tel.: (965) 240-3570 
-  Clued Media Group 
    P.O. Box 24270, Safat, Kuwait 13103. Tel.: (965) 532-7962 
-  Horizone Advertising 
    P.O. Box 20199, Safat, Kuwait 13062. Tel.: (965) 240-3371 
-  Ideas Unlimited 
    P.O. Box 25731, Safat, Kuwait 13118. Tel.: (965) 245-0400 
-  Impact and Echo 
    P.O. Box 21081, Safat, Kuwait 13071. Tel.: (965) 243-8120 
-  Intermarkets 
    P.O. Box 20604, Safat, Kuwait 13067. Tel.: (965) 242-3773 
-  Memac 
    P.O. Box 27216, Safat, Kuwait 13133. Tel.: (965) 245-4700 
-  Pan Arab Advertising Co. 
    P.O. Box 2449, Safat, Kuwait 13025. Tel: (965) 240-0701 
-  Publiographics 
    P.O. Box 1035, Safat, Kuwait 13011. Tel: (965) 241-8511 
-  Radius Leo Burnett 
    P.O. Box 4455, Safat, Kuwait 13045. Tel: (965) 240-4967 
-  Al Siham Promoseven 
    P.O. Box 24084, Safat, Kuwait 13101. Tel: (965) 244-4571 
-  TMI 
    P.O. Box 15363, Daiya, Kuwait 35454. Tel: (965) 246-0234 
-  Warba Graphic 
    P.O. Box 26992, Safat, Kuwait 13130. Tel: (965) 241-1761 
 
I.  Pricing the Product 
 
The selling price of an American product to an end user in Kuwait 
includes the following elements in addition to the U.S. supplier's ex 
factory cost: the manufacturer's profit; the U.S. inland transportation; 
U.S. export packing & documentation; freight; insurance; Kuwait customs 
duties (4% generally); Kuwait customs clearance and inland 
transportation ($175/container generally);  the Kuwait agent's 
commission (typically 5-15%); the Kuwait agent's administrative 
overhead; provision for waste and damage; and installation in Kuwait (if 
U.S. personnel required for this). 
 
Common practice in Kuwait in pricing a U.S. consumer product is to 
substitute the Kuwaiti Dinar for the U.S. dollar in the U.S. supplier's 
export invoice price, in effect multiplying the U.S. FOB port of export 
price by 3.4.  In the case of pharmaceuticals, the Ministry of Public 
Health limits Kuwaiti importers to a 70 percent profit margin.  
Industrial items sourced from the U.S. by private Kuwaiti firms to fill 
Kuwait government tenders must be priced to compete at world price 
levels. 
 
The average importer's mark-up on food products is about 10-15 percent.  
Retail food prices are generally 20-30 percent above import/wholesale 
prices. 
 
 
J.  Sales Service/Customer Support 
 
U.S. firms intending to operate in Kuwait should ensure that their sales 
contracts contain a follow-up maintenance clause.  This clause helps to 
ensure that the quality and the service of the product remain up to 
American standards. 
 
Consumer warranties are normally given for goods such as electrical 
appliances, vehicles, watches, etc.  Warranties range in length from 90 
days to 4-5 years depending on the product.  U.S. firms should establish 
a factory service center for their products.  Independent service 
centers also repair and maintain most consumer products and goods. 
 
After-sale service and customer support are very common in the 
automotive and electrical home appliance sectors.  Automobile dealers 
offer a one-year or 15,000-mile guarantee after sale.  They may also 
offer discounted service fees on occasion.  Home appliance dealers offer 
guarantees or warranties against appliance faults or failures.  They 
either fix the fault at their expense or replace the appliance with a 
new one within a certain time after sale.  Agents or dealers of home 
appliances may send their repair technicians to make house calls. 
 
K.  Selling to the Government 
 
Tender Law No. 37 of 1964 regulates government tenders.  The Central 
Tenders Committee (CTC) acts on behalf of nearly all government 
departments, but is independent of them as it is under the jurisdiction 
of the Council of Ministers.  However, the Ministry of Housing has its 
own tenders committee, and the Ministries of Defence and Interior 
(including the security forces) can each also issue their own tenders 
independently of the CTC. 
 
The CTC handles tenders for more than $17,500 (KD 5,000) worth of goods 
or services sought by government ministries and public companies in the 
oil sector.  Tenders are usually awarded on the basis of the lowest 
price once technical compliance of the bids with the tender's 
specifications has been established.  A list of 56 major non-defense 
(mostly construction) projects currently underway in Kuwait worth $22.05 
billion is provided below to give prospective U.S. bidders an idea of 
the number, value and range of Kuwait's major government procurements. 
 
Major non-defense government projects underway in Kuwait are; 
 
-  KAC 4 Airbus A340-300 Aircraft ($440 million) 
-  KCCI Headquarters ($40 million) 
-  KNPC 1994-1997 Project Management ($64 million) 
-  KNPC Storage Tank Repairs ($6 million) 
-  KNPC Mina Al-Ahmadi Refinery Reconstruction ($87 million) 
-  KNPC Mina Al-Ahmadi Acid Gas Removal Plant ($181 million) 
-  KNPC Mina Al-Ahmadi MAFP Project ($101 million) 
-  KNPC Mina Abdullah Steam System Revamp Project ($23 million) 
-  KOC 1993-1996 Project Management ($83 million) 
-  KOC North & South Tank Farms Reconstruction ($60 million) 
-  KOC Central Manifold Project ($50 million) 
-  KOC Gathering Centers Nos. 27 & 28 ($400 million) 
-  KOC 2 Calm Buoys Marine Export Facilities ($40 million) 
-  KOC 2-D Seismic Processing ($40 million) 
-  KOC 3-D Seismic Processing ($70 million) 
-  KOTC 3 Oil Supertankers ($180 million) 
-  Kuwait University New Campus at Shedadiya ($535 million) 
-  Kuwait University Medical Faculty Expansion ($75 million) 
-  MEW & MPW Headquarters ($55 million) 
-  MEW Sabiya 2400 MW Power Plants ($1.6 billion) 
-  MEW Sabiya-Jahra-Sulaibiya Cables ($58 million) 
-  MEW Refurbishment of 4 Substations ($115 million) 
-  MEW 2 Recarbonation Units ($122 million) 
-  MEW Al-Zour South Distillation Project ($212 million) 
-  MEW 2 Substations & Overhead Lines ($81.4 million) 
-  MEW 240 MW Shuaiba Substation ($93.7 million) 
-  MEW 3 Transformer Stations ($19.2 million) 
-  MEW Substation Transformers ($8.6 million) 
-  MEW Diversion of Transmission Lines ($7.6 million) 
-  MOC Telecommunications Tower ($115 million) 
-  MOC 100,000 Line Switching Equipment ($15 million) 
-  MOC 80,000 Line Switching Equipment ($10 million) 
-  Min. of Information 15 500KW FM Transmitters ($22.5 million) 
-  MPW Amiri Diwan/Council of Ministers Buildings ($300 million) 
-  MPW Bayan Palace Reconstruction ($48 million) 
-  MPW Civil Service Commission Building ($23 million) 
-  MPW Jahra Sewer System ($63 million) 
-  MPW KAB Headquarters ($10 million) 
-  MPW MOC Safat Post Office ($30 million) 
-  MPW MOI Coast Guard Building ($108 million) 
-  MPW MOI Headquarters ($68 million) 
-  MPW MOI Special Forces Headquarters ($70 million) 
-  MPW MPH Adan Dental Clinic ($7 million) 
-  MPW MPH Psychiatric Disease Hospital ($33 million) 
-  MPW Petroleum Complex Design ($5.8 million) 
-  MPW Petroleum Complex Construction ($116 million) 
-  MPW South Surra Sewerage Consultancy ($8 million) 
-  MPW Sulaibikhat Sewer System Renewal ($53 million) 
-  MTC 50,000 GSM Cellular Phones, Phase I ($32 million) 
-  Municipality Renovation of Kuwait's Waterfront ($70 million) 
-  NAHC Houses & Apartments in Sabiya and Khairan ($15 billion) 
-  PIC-Union Carbide Equate Ethylene Plant ($400 million) 
-  PIC-Union Carbide Equate Ethylene Glycol Plant ($165 million) 
-  PIC-Union Carbide Equate Polyethylene Plant ($170 million) 
-  PIC Shuaiba Polypropylene Plant ($84 million) 
-  UASC 10 Container Ships ($600 million) 
-  U.S. Embassy ($26 million) 
 
Abbreviations: 
 
KAB  -  Kuwait Audit Bureau 
KAC  -  Kuwait Airways Corporation 
KCCI -  Kuwait Chamber of Commerce and Industry 
KNPC -  Kuwait National Petroleum Company 
KOC  -  Kuwait Oil Company 
KOTC -  Kuwait Oil Tanker Company 
MEW  -  Ministry of Electricity and Water 
MOC  -  Ministry of Communications 
MOI  -  Ministry of Interior 
MPH  -  Ministry of Public Health 
MPW  -  Ministry of Public Works 
MTC  -  Mobile Telecommunications Company 
NAHC -  National Authority for Housing Care 
PIC  -  Petrochemical Industries Company 
UASC -  United Arab Shipping Company 
 
L.  Protecting Your Product from IPR Infringement 
 
Kuwait is slowly making progress on intellectual property issues.  In 
January 1995, it became a member of the World Trade Organization, which 
requires Kuwait to phase in intellectual property protection to bring 
its laws up to international standards within five years.  Kuwait also 
recently hosted a regional seminar of the World Intellectual Property 
Organization (WIPO).  In an address to the seminar, the Minister of 
Commerce & Industry publicly called for Kuwait to take all necessary 
steps to join WIPO and the Paris and Berne Conventions for the 
protection of intellectual property. 
 
Kuwait is not, however, currently a member of any international 
intellectual property rights convention.  It does have laws providing 
some patent and trademark protection.  These laws are not actively 
enforced, except for spot customs checks for imitation or counterfeit 
goods and/or goods bearing infringing trademarks. 
 
Trademarks may be registered in Kuwait for ten years and renewed 
indefinitely for another ten-year period.  If a trademark has not been 
used for a five-year period, an interested party can apply to the courts 
to have it cancelled.  Registration gives the owner the exclusive right 
to use the mark on the goods for which it is registered, and third 
parties can therefore be prevented from using the mark on competing 
products.  Registration procedures take about three weeks and require a 
$60 fee.  Trademark registration is linked to the Kuwaiti agent; when a 
new agent is selected, the trademark continues in force under the old 
agent's name until the new agent registers the trademark. 
 
Patents protect against unauthorized use for an initial period of ten 
years; they may be registered for an additional five years.  Patent 
registration costs only $34 (KD 10). 
 
At present, there is no copyright law under which original literary or 
artistic works, including books, software, videocassettes, 
audiocassettes, movies, etc., are protected.  Pending enactment of a 
proposed copyright law, all published material, including audio tapes 
and videotapes, is treated as public property. 
 
M.  Need for a Local Attorney 
 
Disputes arising out of business transactions fall in two broad 
categories.  The first category concerns collection or payment issues, 
as in the case of an American firm sending goods/commodities to a local 
firm that then refuses to pay the full amount, claiming the goods do not 
comply with the terms and conditions of the letter of credit (L/C).  
Another example is when an American firm carries out a project in Kuwait 
and then has problems in getting paid for its services.  The second 
category consists of disputes arising from the termination of agency 
agreements.  To help resolve a dispute, US&FCS Kuwait may intervene, and 
advocate strongly, on behalf of the American firm.  If the local firm, 
however, persists in its refusal to settle the dispute, then the 
American firm may have to resort to the local courts to obtain 
satisfaction.  To gain access to the local judicial system, the U.S. 
firm will have to hire a local attorney.  A list of law firms known to 
US&FCS Kuwait is set forth below. 
 
Abdulla S. Al-Rkayan & Associates 
P.O. Box 5277, Safat 
13053 Kuwait 
TEL:  (965) 242-1281 
FAX:  (965) 242-0582 
CONTACT:  Ms. Houria B. Coffman 
TITLE:  Attorney 
 
Abdul Razzak A. Mohammed Law Firm 
P.O. Box 22880 Safat 
13089 Kuwait 
TEL:  (965) 245-5717 
FAX:  (965) 246-9357 
CONTACT:  Mrs. Yvonne R. Carrison 
TITLE:  Managing Director 
        International Legal Department 
 
Ahmad G.H. Al Otaibi & Partners 
P.O. Box 5750 Safat 
13058 Kuwait 
TEL:  (965) 242-5163 
FAX:  (965) 242-2359 
CONTACT:  Mr. Ernest Alexander 
TITLE:  Attorney 
 
Anwar Al-Bisher Law Firm 
P.O. Box 26292, Safat 
13123 Kuwait 
TEL:  (965) 243-1122 
FAX:  (965) 240-2501 
CONTACT:  Mr. Anwar N. Al-Bisher 
TITLE:  Attorney at Law 
 
Al-Ayoub & Partners 
P.O. Box 1714, Safat 
13018 Kuwait 
TEL:  (965) 246-4321 
FAX:  (965) 246-6591 
CONTACT:  Mr. Abdulla K. Al-Ayoub 
TITLE:  Attorney 
 
Bryan Cave 
P.O. Box 4213, Salmiya 
22043 Kuwait 
TEL:  (965) 534-0028 
FAX:  (965) 534-0028 
CONTACT:  Mr. William Pyron 
TITLE:  Attorney 
 
Dixon & Dixon, Najeeb Al-Waqyan Law Firm 
P.O. Box 22833, Safat 
13089 Kuwait 
TEL:  (965) 241-5617 
FAX:  (965) 240-7030 
CONTACT:  Mr. Najeeb Al-Waqyan 
TITLE:  Attorney 
 
Al-Essa, Al-Bader & Partners 
P.O. Box 4207, Safat 
13043 Kuwait 
TEL:  (965) 243-8020 
FAX:  (965) 240-9616 
CONTACT:  Mr. Bader Saud Al-Bader 
TITLE:  Attorney 
 
Al Ghazali Partners and Graham & James 
P.O. Box 4970, Safat 
13050 Kuwait 
TEL:  (965) 243-9690 
FAX:  (965) 242-2895 
CONTACT:  Mr. Mamoun Hariri 
TITLE:  Attorney 
 
Jones, Day, Reavis & Pogue 
c/o Salman Duaij Al-Sabah Law Office 
P.O. Box 5117, Safat 
13052 Kuwait 
TEL:  (965) 240-0261 
FAX:  (965) 240-0260 
CONTACT:  Mr. Martin Camp 
TITLE:  Attorney 
 
Al Sarraf & Al-Ruwayeh & Stephenson Harwoud Law Firm 
P.O. Box 1448 Safat 
13015 Kuwait 
TEL:  (965) 240-0061 
FAX:  (965) 240-0064 
CONTACT:  Mr. Issam "Sam" Essa Habbas 
TITLE:  Attorney 
 
Yousef Essa Al-Matar & Edmond Chartouni 
P.O. Box 23198, Safat 
13092 Kuwait 
TEL:  (965) 241-2283 
FAX:  (965) 246-6591 
CONTACT:  Mr. Yousef Essa Al-Matar 
TITLE:  Attorney 
 
 
 
V.  LEADING SECTORS FOR U.S. EXPORTS AND INVESTMENT 
 
Best Prospects for Non-Agricultural Goods and Services for U.S. 
Exporters: 
 
 
                                       Estimated U.S. Market Size 
                                           (US Dols Millions) 
Rank  ITA  Best Prospect Sector       1994    1995    1996    Growth 
 
 1  OGM  Oil & Gas Field Machinery 
         & Service                     920  1,058  1,248  90 
 2  AIR  Aircraft and Parts             25    125    145  20 
 3  PCI  Process Control - Industrial   40     47     55   8 
 4  FUR  Furniture                      25     28     35   7 
 5  APP  Apparel                        18     23     30   7 
 6  APG  Airport and Ground Support 
         Equipment                      23     31     37   6 
 7  MED  Medical Equipment              16     19     25   6 
 8  MCS  Management Consultancy Services 9     11     17   6 
 9  ACR  Air Conditioning and Refrigeration 
         Equipment                      60     65     70   5 
10  CSF  Computer Software              35     40     45   5 
11  APS  Automotive Parts and Services 
         Equipment                      20     30     35   5 
12  BLD  Building Products              25     30     35   5 
13  SEC  Security and Safety Equipment  28     30     35   5 
14  SPT  Sporting Equipment 
         (Fitness Equipment)            25     30     35   5 
15  TES  Telecommunications Services     7     10     15   5 
16  CPT  Computers and Peripherals      84     86     90   4 
17  DRG  Pharmaceuticals                23     26     30   4 
18  LAB  Scientific Laboratory  
         Instruments                    20     22     25   3 
19  DNT  Dental Equipment               15     19     22   3 
20  CON  Construction Equipment         10     12     15   3 
21  COS  Cosmetics and Toiletries        9     10     13   3 
22  POL  Pollution Control Equipment     8      9     10   1 
 
 
 
* Rank order is based primarily on estimated growth in U.S. exports to 
Kuwait during 1995-1996, and secondarily on estimated U.S. market size 
in 1996. 
 
 
Best Prospects for Agricultural Goods and Services for U.S. Exporters: 
 
                                 Estimated U.S. Market Size 
 
PS&D  Best Prospect Sector      1994    1995    1996 
                                    Million eggs) 
FOD  Table Eggs                   38      50      60 
                              (Thousand Metric Tons) 
FOD  Poultry Meat                  2       3       3 
FOD  Corn Oil                      6       9      10 
 
 
A.  Best Prospects for Non-Agricultural Goods and Services for U.S. 
Exporters: 
 
(All data in US$ millions, unless otherwise noted.) 
 
1.  Oil and Gas Field Machinery and Service (OGM) 
 
The oil and gas sector grew very rapidly in the past year.  Both the 
state-owned Kuwait Oil Co. and Kuwait National Petroleum Co. embarked on 
major expansion programs.  The planned construction of projects like the 
petrochemicals complex, gathering centers, pipelines, refineries 
upgrades, the drilling of oil wells and the rebuilding of storage tanks 
open many opportunities for American goods and services.  In addition, 
the petrochemicals joint venture between the Petrochemicals Industries 
Co. and Union Carbide will create opportunities for the construction of 
plastics and specialty chemical downstream industries. 
 
                            1994      1995      1996 
 
A. Total Market Size        2000      2500      2950 
B. Total Local Production      0         0         0 
C. Total Exports               0         0         0 
D. Total Imports            1840      2116      2495 
E. Total Imports from U.S.   920      1058      1248 
 
Exchange Rate               .297      .290      .295 
(US$ 1.00 = Kuwaiti Dinar) 
 
The above statistics are unofficial estimates. 
 
 
2.  Aircraft and Parts (AIR) 
 
In 1992, Kuwait Airways Corporation (KAC) ordered 15 aircraft for $1.5 
billion:  3 Airbus A320's, 5 Airbus A300-600's, 3 Airbus A310's and 4 
Boeing 747's.  In March 1995, KAC ordered 4 Airbus A340-300's worth an 
additional $440 million.  KAC plans to buy three Boeing 747's over the 
next three years.  KAC imports about $45 million worth of aircraft spare 
parts each year, 60 percent of which is from the U.S.  More parts will 
be needed on account of the expansion of KAC's fleet. 
 
                            1994           1995           1996 
 
A. Total Market Size         540             500             550 
B. Total Local Production      0               0               0 
C. Total Exports               0               0               0 
D. Total Imports             540             500             550 
E. Imports from the U.S.      25             125             145 
 
Exchange Rate               .297            .290            .295 
(US$ 1.00 = Kuwaiti Dinar) 
 
The above statistics are unofficial estimates. 
 
 
3.  Process Control - Industrial (PCI) 
 
With the rapid growth of the oil and gas sector, there will be 
corresponding expansion in the industrial process control market, a 
market in which U.S. companies are already strong competitors. 
 
                            1994      1995      1996 
 
A. Total Market Size          66        75        87 
B. Total Local Production      0         0         0 
C. Total Exports               0         0         0 
D. Total Imports              66        75        87 
E. Total Imports from U.S.    40        47        55 
 
Exchange Rate               .297      .290      .295 
(US$ 1.00 = Kuwaiti Dinar) 
 
The above statistics are unofficial estimates. 
 
 
 
4. Furniture (FUR) 
 
The market for home and office furniture during 1994 and 1995 remained 
almost unchanged.  There is, however, potential for near-term growth as 
the furniture purchased immediately after liberation will soon need 
replacement or renewal.  Also, a number of ministries and government 
entities have started ordering new furniture.  Many new buildings such 
as the new Audit Bureau and Kuwait Airways headquarters, the Amiri Diwan 
and the Council of Ministers buildings, and the new National Bank of 
Kuwait headquarters are completed and require furnishing.  There are 
several other major construction projects planned for the next two-three 
years including the Petroleum Complex, the Chamber of Commerce and 
Industry and the Civil Service Commission buildings. Besides, thousands 
of new housing units are being built each year. This will substantially 
increase the demand for imported furniture.  Furniture imports from the 
U.S. constitute about 20% of the total imports.  The U.S.' major 
competitor is Italy. 
 
                             1994      1995      1996 
 
A.  Total Market Size         126       130       165 
B.  Total Local Production      6        10        20 
C.  Total Exports              20        10        15 
D.  Total Imports             140       140       160 
E.  Imports from the U.S.      25        28        35 
 
Exchange Rate: 
(U.S. $1.00 = Kuwaiti Dinar) .297        .290    .295 
 
The above statistics are unofficial estimates. 
 
 
5.  Apparel (APP) 
 
Local production of apparel is insignificant.  Most apparel made in 
Kuwait caters to the low end of the market and includes clothing 
relabeled in Kuwait that was originally imported form India and 
Pakistan.  The high-end and some of the good middle-end apparel markets 
are dominated by European firms.  American firms can obtain a larger 
market share by exporting maternity, children, sports and casual wear. 
 
                                1994      1995      1996 
 
A. Total Market Size             150       160       170 
B. Total Local Production          2         5         9 
C. Total Exports                 0.5       0.7         1 
D. Total Imports                 150       160       170 
E. Total Imports from U.S.        18        23        30 
 
Exchange Rate: 
(U.S. $1.00 = Kuwaiti Dinar)  .297        .290      .295 
 
The above statistics are unofficial estimates. 
 
 
6.  Airport and Ground Support Equipment (APG) 
 
The Government of Kuwait's Directorate General of Civil Aviation has 
begun the implementation of a master plan prepared by NAACO of the 
Netherlands to expand the existing airport to accommodate over 5 million 
passengers/year.  They have already begun the enhancement of the control 
tower, however, the major part of implementing the plan has yet to take 
place.  This includes the redesign of the main terminal and the runways 
and the procurement of equipment such as navigational instruments, 
radars and conveyors. 
 
                              1994      1995      1996 
 
A. Total Market Size            77        88        101 
B. Total Local Production        0         0          0 
C. Total Exports                 0         0          0 
D. Total Imports                77        88        101 
E. Total Imports from U.S.      23        31         37 
 
Exchange Rate                 .297      .290       .295 
(US$ 1.00 = Kuwaiti Dinar) 
 
The above statistics are unofficial estimates. 
 
 
7.  Medical Equipment (MED) 
 
The Kuwait government is expected to continue to place a high priority 
on public health care services.  There will be projects to replace, 
upgrade, and modernize existing medical facilities.  The Ministry of 
Public Health has already granted 45 licenses for new private hospitals.  
This will give U.S. medical companies new opportunities in the Kuwaiti 
market. 
 
                                 1994      1995      1996 
 
A. Total Market Size               40        45        50 
B. Total Local Production           0         0         0 
C. Total Exports                    0         0         0 
D. Total Imports                   40        45        50 
E. Total Imports from U.S.         16        19        25 
 
Exchange Rate: 
(U.S. $1.00 = Kuwaiti Dinar)   .297        .290      .295 
 
The above statistics are unofficial estimates. 
 
8.  Management Consultancy Services (MCS) 
 
The planned privatization of telecommunications, power, health care, 
education and other industries in Kuwait, coupled with the fast pace of 
technological development sweeping international business, will open up 
many opportunities for U.S. management consulting companies in Kuwait. 
 
                              1994      1995      1996 
 
A. Total Market Size            20        22        24 
B. Total Local Production        0         0         0 
C. Total Exports                 0         0         0 
D. Total Imports                20        22        24 
E. Imports from the U.S.         9        11        17 
 
Exchange Rate                 .297      .290      .295 
(US$ 1.00 = Kuwaiti Dinar) 
 
The above statistics are unofficial estimates. 
 
 
9.  Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Equipment (ACR)  
 
Kuwait is an excellent market for air conditioning equipment because of 
its high temperatures during most of the year and intense seasonal 
humidity. 
 
                              1994      1995      1996 
 
A. Total Market Size           100        95       110 
B. Total Local Production        4         7        10 
C. Total Exports                 0         0         0 
D. Total Imports               100        95       110 
E. Total Imports from U.S.      60        65        70 
 
Exchange Rate: 
(U.S. $1.00 = Kuwaiti Dinar)  .297      .290      .295 
 
The above statistics are unofficial estimates. 
 
 
10.  Computer Software (CSF) 
 
The U.S. firm Microsoft dominates the market.  The following types of 
applications software would sell well in Kuwait:  Image processing 
systems, banking, insurance, hospital management, computer networking, 
education, training, design support, graphic design, and business 
solutions.  U.S. firms should assess their prospects in this market 
carefully as there is presently no copyright law in Kuwait. 
 
                             1994      1995      1996 
 
A. Total Market Size           50        60        70 
B. Total Local Production       2         2         2 
C. Total Exports               45        50         0 
D. Total Imports               50        60        70 
E. Total Imports from U.S.     35        40        45 
 
Exchange Rate: 
(U.S. $1.00 = Kuwaiti Dinar)  .297     .290       .295 
 
The above statistics are unofficial estimates. 
 
 
11.  Automotive Parts and Service Equipment (APS) 
 
Demand for automobile spare parts and service equipment will likely 
continue to be high due to the tough weather conditions, poor after-
sales service, high accident rate and bad driving habits.  30,000-37,000 
new cars are added to the market every year.  U.S.-made cars have the 
majority share of the market.  GM, Chrysler, Ford, and Jeep are 
represented locally.  Japanese and European motor companies are also 
present.  Genuine spare parts are favored, but counterfeit parts are 
widely available as well. 
 
                             1994      1995      1996 
 
A.  Total Market Size          59        65         70 
B.  Total Local Production      0         0         0 
C.  Total Exports               5         5         7 
D.  Total Imports              64        70        77 
E.  Imports from the U.S.      20        30        35 
 
Exchange Rate                 .297      .290      .295 
(US$ 1.00 = Kuwaiti Dinar) 
 
The above statistics are unofficial estimates. 
 
 
12.  Building Products (BLD) 
 
This subsector covers cement, iron, wood, ceramic tiles and specialty 
construction materials.  Local production of cement, tiles and bricks 
almost meets local consumption demand.  Steel and iron bars for 
construction are imported from Saudi Arabia and Qatar as well as from 
Turkey and other countries.  Specialty construction products are 
imported from various countries like the U.S.A., Germany, U.K., Italy, 
Spain, and Japan.  The Kuwait market for the sector is about USD 500 
million and is likely to increase sharply subject to the availability of 
funds for the execution of planned public housing projects.  The sector 
is marked by price volatility and strong international competition. 
 
                            1994      1995      1996 
 
A.  Total Market Size        525       555       595 
B.  Total Local Production   210       223       250 
C.  Total Exports              0         0         0 
D.  Total Imports            315       332       345 
E.  Imports from the U.S.     25        30        35 
 
Exchange Rate               .297      .290      .295 
(US$ 1.00 = Kuwaiti Dinar) 
 
The above statistics are unofficial estimates. 
 
 
13.  Security and Safety Equipment (SEC) 
 
Kuwait is keenly aware of the need to ensure its safety and security.  
Frequent border intrusions have forced the Ministry of Interior to 
develop a border security program and to improve security at strategic 
facilities such as refineries, power plants and the new petrochemical 
complex.  U.S. safety and security companies will have increasing 
opportunities in the Kuwaiti market. 
 
                            1994      1995      1996 
 
A. Total Market Size          70        75             80 
B. Total Local Production      0         0              0 
C. Total Exports               0         0              0 
D. Total Imports              70        75             80 
E. Total Imports from U.S.    28        30             35 
 
Exchange Rate: 
(U.S. $1.00 = Kuwaiti Dinar) .297     .290           .295 
 
The above statistics are unofficial estimates. 
 
 
14.  Sporting Equipment (SPT) 
 
The market in Kuwait for sporting equipment is growing as new health 
clubs open and as water sports remain popular. There are more than 60 
sporting clubs and physical fitness institutes in Kuwait.  In addition, 
there are also health clubs affiliated with the seven five-star hotels.  
As Kuwait has a long coastline and nine islands, water sports are very 
popular among the Kuwaitis. 
 
            1994      1995      1996 
 
A. Total Market Size      70        80             90 
B. Total Local Production      0              0              0 
C. Total Exports                 0              0              0 
D. Total Imports        70        80        90 
E. Total Imports from U.S.    25        30        35 
 
Exchange Rate: 
(U.S. $1.00 = Kuwaiti Dinar)  .297           .290           .295 
 
The above statistics are unofficial estimates. 
 
 
15.  Telecommunications Services (TES) 
 
The Ministry of Communications (MOC) provides almost all communications 
services to subscribers through 32 exchanges, 26 of which are fully 
digital.  The Ministry needs US$ 11 million to install 70,000 new 
telephone lines.  Several international companies such as AT&T, GPT 
(British), Alcatel (French), Fujitsu (Japanese), and Ericsson (Swedish) 
provide switches, though Ericsson traditionally dominates the market.  
The Ministry plans to have an integrated services digital network 
(ISDN), but this has been postponed due to low demand.  MOC provides ten 
services including: call transfer, call follow me, disconnecting the 
international dialing number, conference calls, call-waiting, hot line 
service, and status of outstanding bills.  The building of tens of 
thousands of housing units in the next few years will increase the 
demand for telecommunications services.  There are plans to build two 
new satellite earth stations, but these are on hold due to budgetary 
restraints. The Mobile Telecommunications Company (MTC) provides mobile 
telephone and paging services to over 70,000 and 110,000 subscribers, 
respectively. 
 
            1994      1995      1996 
 
A.  Total Market Size      70        65        70 
B.  Total Local Production     0         0         0 
C.  Total Exports         0          0          0 
D.  Total Imports         70          65        70 
E.  Imports from the U.S.     7         10          15 
 
Exchange Rate        .297      .290      .295 
(US$ 1.00 = Kuwaiti Dinar) 
 
The above statistics are unofficial estimates. 
 
 
16.  Computers and Peripherals  (CPT) 
 
Most major American computer firms are present in the Kuwaiti market and 
possess about 90 percent of the total imports of mainframes, 
minicomputers, microcomputers and data communications equipment.  U.S. 
image processing systems are gaining wider acceptance.  Several upcoming 
major projects will create an excellent potential market for U.S. 
computer equipment. 
 
            1994      1995      1996 
 
A. Total Market Size     120       130            140 
B. Total Local Production     0              0              0 
C. Total Exports                 0              0              0 
D. Total Imports       120       130       140 
E. Total Imports from U.S.    84             86             90 
 
Exchange Rate: 
(U.S. $1.00 = Kuwaiti Dinar)  .297           .290           .295 
 
The above statistics are unofficial estimates. 
 
 
17.  Pharmaceuticals (DRG) 
 
The Ministry of Public Health is embarking on a scheme to revamp the 
medical sector, including the distribution of pharmaceuticals.  There 
are six major government hospitals, 53 clinics and 6 privately owned 
hospitals in Kuwait, with an anticipated growth of about 5% in the 
field.  Substantial private and public sector resources will be 
allocated to the establishment of American-standard health care 
services.  This will undoubtedly reflect on the profit potential of the 
pharmaceuticals industry in Kuwait.  On the one hand, growth in Kuwait's 
pharmaceuticals sector depends on the pace of privatization and public 
expenditure.  On the other hand, growth in demand is attenuated by the 
effects of Kuwait's drug price controls and by the continual treatment 
of some patients in Europe and the U.S. 
 
            1994      1995      1996 
 
A. Total Market Size      58        66           76 
B. Total Local Production     0         0         0 
C. Total Exports         0         0         0 
D. Total Imports        58        66        76 
E. Total Imports from U.S.    23        26        30 
 
Exchange Rate        .297      .290      .295 
(US$ 1.00 = Kuwaiti Dinar) 
 
The above statistics are unofficial estimates. 
 
 
18.  Scientific Laboratory Instruments (LAB) 
 
The existing public and private hospitals, private laboratories, Kuwait 
University, and Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research form a good 
market for scientific laboratory instruments.  Although the 1995 figures 
indicate a decline in imports, a 5 percent increase is expected in 1996 
because of plans for new private hospitals. 
 
            1994      1995      1996 
 
A. Total Market Size      70        40             45 
B. Total Local Production     0              0              0 
C. Total Exports                 0              0              0 
D. Total Imports        70        40        45 
E. Total Imports from U.S.      20           22        25 
 
Exchange Rate: 
(U.S. $1.00 = Kuwaiti Dinar)  .297           .290           .295 
 
The above statistics are unofficial estimates. 
 
 
19.  Dental Equipment (DNT) 
 
European companies hold about 60 percent market share, while the U.S. 
firms have 40 percent.  Growth is expected in this sector because there 
are many new private dental clinics and more than 15 licenses have been 
granted to establish new private hospitals in Kuwait.  In addition, the 
government and private sector plan to upgrade existing medical 
facilities.  Opportunities exist, especially in the areas of laboratory 
equipment, disposables and consumer items. 
 
            1994      1995      1996 
 
A. Total Market Size      40        48             55 
B. Total Local Production     0              0              0 
C. Total Exports                 0              0              0 
D. Total Imports        40        48        55 
E. Total Imports from U.S.    15        19        22 
 
Exchange Rate: 
(U.S. $1.00 = Kuwaiti Dinar)  .297           .290           .295 
 
The above statistics are unofficial estimates. 
 
 
20.  Construction Equipment (CON) 
 
The following projects are either being, or will be, completed in the 
next few years and will need a lot of construction equipment: the 
Petroleum Complex; the Kuwait Chamber of Commerce and Industry 
headquarters; the National Housing Care Authority; the Civil Service 
Commission; the Subiya Power Station (Civil Work); the new compound of 
the American Embassy; the expansion of Kuwait University; the probable 
building of a bridge that will link Failaka Island with the proposed 
city of Subiya and the Kuwait City suburb of Salmiya; the building of 
over 40,000 new housing units in various locations, and the building of 
several new private hospitals in various locations in Kuwait.  As a 
result, the demand for construction equipment will be high.  American 
construction equipment companies are present in the market but can 
improve their position against Japanese competition. 
 
            1994      1995      1996 
 
A.  Total Market Size      26         28        33 
B.  Total Local Production     0           0         0 
C.  Total Exports         5            7        12 
D.  Total Imports         31           35        45 
E.  Imports from the U.S.    10           12        15 
 
Exchange Rate        .297         .290      .290 
(US$ 1.00 = Kuwaiti Dinar) 
 
The above statistics are unofficial estimates. 
 
 
21.  Cosmetics and Toiletries (COS) 
 
French and Italian cosmetic companies dominate the local market. 
However, recent price increases for European products have caused 
Kuwaiti consumers to seek alternatives; this trend has assisted American 
companies in reaching new customers. 
 
            1994      1995      1996 
 
A. Total Market Size      31        34        37 
B. Total Local Production     0         0         0 
C. Total Exports         0         0         0 
D. Total Imports        31        34        37 
E. Total Imports from U.S.     9        10       13 
 
Exchange Rate        .297      .290      .295 
(US$ 1.00 = Kuwaiti Dinar) 
 
The above statistics are unofficial estimates. 
 
 
22.  Pollution Control Equipment (POL) 
 
Pollution control has become a major topic of discussion in the Kuwaiti 
parliament as more industries establish themselves.  The Kuwaiti 
government is seeking ways to lower the risk of environmental damage 
from increasing industrialization.  This trend will open opportunities 
for U.S. suppliers of pollution control equipment. 
 
            1994      1995      1996 
 
A. Total Market Size      21        25        28 
B. Total Local Production     0         0         0 
C. Total Exports         0         0         0 
D. Total Imports        21        25        28 
E. Total Imports from U.S.     8         9        10 
 
Exchange Rate        .297      .290      .295 
(US$ 1.00 = Kuwaiti Dinar) 
 
The above statistics are unofficial estimates. 
 
 
B.  Best Prospects for Agricultural Goods and Services 
 
1.  Table Eggs (FOD) 
 
Exports of U.S. table eggs to Kuwait increased from two million eggs in 
1992 to 38 million in 1994.  This was mainly due to a successful EEP 
initiative for table eggs to the Gulf region.  U.S. eggs are recognized 
for their high quality by the trade and consumers.  The U.S. share of 
the Kuwaiti egg market is expected to increase steadily for the above 
reasons.  Saudi Arabia, the Netherlands and Lebanon are other principal 
suppliers. 
 
             1994      1995        1996 
                  (Million Eggs) 
 
A. Total Market Size     265       285      300 
B. Total Local Production   140            150      160 
C. Total Exports                 0              0        0 
D. Total Imports       125       135      140 
E. Total Imports from U.S.    38        50       60 
 
Exchange Rate        .297      .290      .295 
(US$ 1.00 = Kuwaiti Dinar) 
 
The above statistics are unofficial estimates. 
 
 
2.  Poultry Meat (FOD) 
 
U.S. frozen chicken and chicken parts are known for their high quality.  
The existence of an EEP program for whole chickens is expected to 
enhance sales of frozen whole chickens to this country.  Also, more 
brands of U.S. chicken parts are being offered on the Kuwaiti market.  
Brazil, France and Denmark dominate the market for whole chickens.  The 
United States and Brazil dominate the market for chicken parts.  Whole 
chickens represent 90 percent of total imports of chicken meat.  The 
preferred size for whole chickens ranges from 900-1,200 grams per bird.  
Chicken parts are imported in two-pound trays. 
 
             1994      1995        1996 
                (Thousand Metric Tons) 
 
A. Total Market Size      61        64       67 
B. Total Local Production    18             19       20 
C. Total Exports                 1              1        1 
D. Total Imports        44        46       48 
E. Total Imports from U.S.     2         3        3 
 
Exchange Rate        .297      .290      .295 
(US$ 1.00 = Kuwaiti Dinar) 
 
The above statistics are unofficial estimates. 
 
 
3.  Corn Oil (FOD) 
 
Corn oil is the preferred cooking oil in Kuwait and the other Gulf 
countries.  As of 1992, a local firm started to pack corn oil imported 
from the United States in bulk.  Consumption of corn oil, and 
consequently imports from the United States, is expected to increase 
steadily as the locally packed oil is offered at competitive prices.  
U.S. corn oil exports to Kuwait more than doubled in 1993.  Saudi 
Arabia, Singapore and the U.A.E. are other principal suppliers of corn 
oil to the Kuwaiti market. 
 
             1994      1995        1996 
                (Thousand Metric Tons) 
 
A. Total Market Size      11        14       16 
B. Total Local Production     0              0        0 
C. Total Exports                 1              1        1 
D. Total Imports        12        15       17 
E. Total Imports from U.S.     6         9       10 
 
Exchange Rate        .297      .290        .295 
(US$ 1.00 = Kuwaiti Dinar) 
 
The above statistics are unofficial estimates. 
 
 
C.  Significant Investment Opportunities 
 
The petrochemicals sector in Kuwait offers significant investment 
opportunities.  The $2.2 billion petrochemical complex being built for 
Equate, the joint venture between the U.S.' Union Carbide and Kuwait's 
government-owned Petrochemical Industries Company (PIC), is the first 
major foreign investment in Kuwait.  Once production begins in mid-1997, 
the output of this complex, i.e., ethylene, ethylene glycol and 
polyethylene, will lay the foundation for a number of downstream 
industries in the areas of plastics, synthetic fibers and specialty 
chemicals.  Pleased with the success of the Equate venture, PIC is now 
considering adding a new joint venture to build a $1 billion aromatics 
plant. 
 
The Government of the United States acknowledges the contribution that 
outward foreign direct investment makes to the U.S. economy.  U.S. 
foreign direct investment is increasingly viewed as a complement or even 
a necessary component of trade.  For example, roughly 60 percent of U.s. 
exports are sold by American firms that have operations abroad.  
Recognizing the benefits that U.S. outward investment brings to the U.S. 
economy, the government of the United States undertakes initiatives, 
such as Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) programs, 
investment treaty negotiations and business facilitation programs, that 
support U.S. investors. 
 
 
 
VI.  TRADE REGULATIONS AND STANDARDS 
 
A.  Trade Barriers, including Tariffs, Non-Tariff Barriers and 
    Import Taxes 
 
1.  Potentially High Tariffs 
 
There are no customs duties on food, agricultural items and essential 
consumer goods.  Imports of some machinery, most spare parts and all raw 
materials are exempt from customs duties.  Oil companies may apply for 
tariff exemptions for certain machinery and drilling equipment. 
 
On July 1, 1992, the General Administration of Customs began collecting 
a 4 percent general tariff on most imports.  This flat rate is applied 
to the cost, insurance, and freight (c.i.f.) value of imported goods.  
Where imports compete with goods that are locally manufactured by 
"infant industries," the Ministry of Commerce and Industry may impose 
protective tariffs of up to 25 percent.  In such cases, tariff reviews 
and determinations are done on a case-by-case basis.  In August 1992, 
for instance, the tariff on cigarettes was raised to 30 percent.  Before 
the Gulf War the Kuwait government imposed tariffs of up to 30 percent 
to protect local industries.  The Kuwait government may also raise 
tariffs in order to raise revenue or to "harmonize upward" with tariffs 
in other GCC states. 
 
In February 1995 the General Administration of Customs proposed three 
new categories of customs duties: 
 
(1)  The 4 percent category, to be applied to basic food and building 
materials (except that foodstuffs imported from other GCC countries are 
exempted from duty in Kuwait); 
 
(2)  The 8 percent category, to be applied to all manufactured goods, 
including automobiles and electronic equipment; and 
 
(3)  The 50 percent category, to be applied to tobacco, cigarettes, 
arms, fireworks and explosives. 
 
The new tariffs will go into effect when they have been approved by the 
Finance Ministry.  By the time of this writing in July 1995, these 
duties had not yet been approved. 
 
2.  Incompatible Standards 
 
Kuwait, like other GCC member states, maintains restrictive standards 
which impede the marketing of U.S. exports.  For example, shelf life 
requirements throughout the GCC for processed foods are in many cases 
far shorter than necessary to preserve freshness. 
 
Shelf life requirements are in fact so short that they cause otherwise 
edible, fresh U.S. products to be deemed by local merchants to be 
uncompetitive with products that can be left on the shelves longer 
because they have been shipped from suppliers in countries closer to 
Kuwait than the U.S.  Standards for many electrical products are based 
on those of the U.K., even though in many cases U.S. products could 
perform better at lower cost if standards were more flexible.  Standards 
for medical, telecommunications and computer equipment tend to lag 
technological developments, with the result that Kuwait government 
tenders often specify the purchase of obsolete, more costly items. 
 
3.  Government Procurement & Offset Policies 
 
Kuwait government procurement policies specify local products when 
available and prescribe a 10 percent price advantage for local firms in 
government tenders. 
 
The Kuwait government views its offset program as a major vehicle for 
motivating foreign investment in Kuwait.  The U.S. government generally 
opposes the attachment of any type of performance requirement to 
government tenders, and has recommended that the Government of Kuwait 
carefully weigh all the potential costs to itself of an offset program.  
At the same time we have encouraged U.S. firms to familiarize themselves 
with the terms of this program so as to ensure the offset program does 
not become an undue obstacle to their business. 
 
Under the program, all government contracts in excess of KD 1.0 million 
(USD 3.5 million) are now to include clauses imposing offset 
obligations.  Moreover, the cumulative supply of more than KD 1 million 
(USD 3.5 million) in goods and services under a series of contracts 
during a period of one year by any one company will also result in 
offset obligations, which will be levied against the full, cumulative 
value of those contracts. 
 
Offset obligations will continue to be set at 30 percent of the value of 
the contract.  The dollar value, however, of this obligation can be 
reduced if the obligation is settled in a manner which accords with the 
Government of Kuwait's priorities.  The mechanism for reduction of 
offset obligations is a system of multipliers which gives suppliers 
additional offset credits depending on how and in what economic areas 
their investments are made.  For instance, so-called "micro" multipliers 
give suppliers additional credit for a variety of financial measures 
including original equity, debt, retained earnings of ventures, sales, R 
& D investments, education and training costs, and pre-establishment 
costs including feasibility studies, business plans, market research, 
etc.  In addition, the value of these credits can be further increased 
by "macro" multipliers, depending on the economic sector in which the 
investment is made.  These sectors include education, management and 
training; manufacturing; assembly for processing; and services.  
Detailed questions on the offset program should be referred to the U.S. 
& Foreign Commercial Service office in Kuwait and the Ministry of 
Finance Countertrade Offset Program Executive Office. 
 
4.  Lack of Intellectual Property Rights Protection 
 
Intellectual property rights protection has been extremely lax in 
Kuwait.  While Kuwait has had patent and trademark laws since 1962, the 
penalties under both are so low as to be effectively irrelevant in 
deterring illegal activities.  Counterfeit products such as clothing, 
auto parts and household products are widely available.  Moreover, the 
patent law contains provisions for compulsory licensing (e.g., in cases 
where the patent has not been used in Kuwait) and government "taking" 
(e.g., in cases of "great importance to national industry") that go far 
beyond the standard in other countries. 
 
Protection afforded by trademark registration is coterminous with one's 
agency agreement and must be applied for anew after one changes one's 
agent. 
 
Kuwait has no copyright law, although it recently issued a decree 
(regulation) protecting U.S. audio and video copyrights.  As a result, 
there is a large overt market for pirated software, cassettes, 
videotapes and unauthorized Arabic translations of foreign language 
books.  The Kuwait government plans to strengthen copyright protection 
and to implement stricter guidelines and more severe penalties for 
violations of patents and trademarks.  However, these changes will take 
several years.  Kuwait has not signed any international intellectual 
property conventions, such as the Berne Convention for the Protection of 
Copyrights, the Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial 
Property, or the Geneva Phonograms Convention. 
 
5.  Arab League Boycott 
 
In June 1993, Kuwait announced that it would no longer apply the 
secondary boycott to firms that do business with Israel and the tertiary 
boycott to firms that do business with firms subject to the secondary 
boycott, but would continue to apply the primary boycott to goods and 
services produced in Israel itself.  Kuwait has also taken steps to 
revise its commercial documentation to eliminate all direct references 
to the boycott of Israel.  U.S. firms may still occasionally receive 
requests for boycott-related information from private Kuwaiti firms or 
uninformed Kuwaiti public officials.  In such cases, U.S. firms should 
advise the Embassy of the request, report the request to the U.S. 
Department of Commerce and take care to comply with all requirements of 
the U.S. antiboycott laws.  Kuwait has received a one-year waiver of 
"Brown Amendment" requirements.  This waiver will expire in May, 1996.  
The "Brown Amendment" prohibits defense sales to those countries that 
have not eliminated all vestiges of the enforcement of the secondary and 
tertiary boycott of Israel. 
 
B.  Customs Valuation 
 
For perishable imports arriving via air, land, or sea, customs clearance 
is prompt and takes about three hours.  To complete clearance, the 
importer presents its import license and quality test certificate.  
Recurring perishable imports can be cleared and taken to the importer's 
premises after an undertaking that a sample has been submitted to the 
Municipality for quality testing. 
 
Customs' assessment of duty on the imported goods is usually based on 
the commercial invoice.  If the customs officials, however, believe the 
declared value is not realistic, they may make their own assessment. 
 
American exporters of perishable goods are recommended to appoint their 
own quality surveyors in Kuwait to protect their rights.  Local 
importers have their own connections with the local officials and may 
obtain certificates in their favor, e.g., stating that the imports are 
wasted, damaged, or not fit for human consumption. 
 
C.  Import Licensing 
 
Importers do not need an import license for each product to be imported 
or for each shipment.  An importer does, however, need to obtain, an 
annual import license from the Ministry of Commerce and Industry which 
authorizes the import, on a multiple-entry basis, of any amount of goods 
from any country during its one-year term.  To obtain this license, 
importing companies must fulfill the following conditions: 
 
--  They must be registered in the commercial register at the Ministry 
of Commerce and Industry, as well as with the Kuwait Chamber of Commerce 
and Industry (KCCI); and 
 
--  the Kuwait shareholding in the capital of the company must be at 
least 51%. 
 
A special import license is required to import certain kinds of goods, 
i.e., firearms, explosives, drugs and wild animals. 
Some drugs require a special import license from the Ministry of Public 
Health.  Imports of firearms and explosives require a special import 
license from the Ministry of Interior. 
 
D.  Export Controls 
 
There are generally no restrictions on exports from Kuwait, with the 
exception of a few items requiring export licenses.  No duties are 
levied on goods exported from Kuwait.  Foreign contractors, however, 
need a letter of clearance from the Director of Income Taxes, Ministry 
of Finance, to be able to export equipment from Kuwait for use on a 
project outside of Kuwait. 
 
E.  Import/export Documentation 
 
Imports to Kuwait require three certified and legalized copies of the 
commercial invoice, three copies of the bill of lading (air waybill), 
and a certificate of origin.  The certificate of origin should: 
 
--  be duly certified by a U.S. chamber of commerce or the National 
U.S.-Arab Chamber of Commerce.  Legalization is done by the Kuwait 
Consulate in New York City or by the Kuwait Embassy in Washington, D.C.; 
 
--  contain the full name of the manufacturing plant or producer as well 
as the full name of the freight forwarder; 
 
--  show the means of transportation; and 
 
--  indicate the country of origin. 
 
Invoices and documents should be available to the importer before the 
arrival of goods in Kuwait as goods cannot be cleared through customs 
without these documents. 
 
Shipment of live animals, animal products, plants, or plant products 
require sanitary and health certification and inspection in the country 
of origin.  All imported beef and poultry products require a health 
certificate from the country of origin and a certificate issued by an 
approved Islamic center in the country of origin which verifies that the 
meat contents and preparation comply with the Islamic Law (Halal).  
Exporters should contact the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Animal and 
Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) for further information. 
 
Food and pharmaceutical products should bear the following: 
 
--  batch or lot number 
--   manufacturing date 
--  expiry date or validity 
--  description of contents 
--  storage conditions 
--  name of the pharmacopeia (for a pharmacopeial product) 
 
Private Kuwaiti companies usually make payment by opening a letter of 
credit through any Kuwaiti bank.  Government agencies pay letters of 
credit directly through the Central Bank of Kuwait. 
 
In brief, export documentation should include: 
--  a detailed description of the goods; 
--  total as well as unit prices; 
--  net and gross weight; 
--  type of packing; 
--  full name and address of the manufacturers and/or exporters; 
--  trade marks and numbers of the goods as shown in the manifest; 
--  means of transportation, the shipper's port and country of origin; 
and 
--  certification of the invoices by the authorized organizations. 
 
F.  Temporary Entry 
 
Products imported into Kuwait which do not comply with established 
standards and regulations may be allowed a three-month temporary entry 
against storage fees.  If the exporter fails to correct the fault, the 
goods will either be reexported at his own expense, or will be 
auctioned.  Goods coming into Kuwait for transshipment may be allowed 
temporary entry. 
 
G.  Labeling, Marking Requirements 
 
All goods imported into Kuwait must be clearly marked with the country 
of origin.  All foodstuffs should carry an Arabic language label (in 
Arabic or in Arabic/English) stating the name of the manufacturer, the 
brand name of the food product, the name of the food product, its 
composition (a list of ingredients and additives, if any, in descending 
order of importance), net and gross weight in metric units, country of 
origin and its production and expiry dates.  All fats and oils used as 
ingredients must be specifically identified on the label.  Arabic 
stickers are acceptable provided they do not cover vital information on 
the original label. 
 
From February 1, 1986 on, the Department of Health of the Municipality 
of Kuwait has barred the entry into Kuwait of any imported food items if 
more than six months have elapsed since the original date of production 
shown on the package, provided the food item has an expiry date of more 
than one year after production. 
 
If the expiry date of the food item falls within a period of less than 
one year from the date of production, then such an item shall be denied 
entry into Kuwait if more than half of the life time of the item has 
elapsed, or if three months has elapsed, whichever elapsed period is 
shorter. 
 
 
However, food items whose expiry date falls within less than two months 
of the date of production are exempted from the above regulations. 
 
H.  Prohibited Imports 
 
Kuwait prohibits the import of pork, pork products, alcoholic beverages, 
products containing alcoholic beverages and gambling machines.  Kuwait 
also prohibits imports from Israel. 
 
I.  Standards 
 
The Department of Standards and Metrology in the Ministry of Commerce 
and Industry has drawn up about 300 Kuwaiti standards that are currently 
in force.  These have been based on a combination of American, British, 
German and other national standards modified to suit Kuwait's needs. 
 
In addition, Kuwait has adopted a number of import regulations to 
conform with Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) standards.  Examples of such 
import regulations are:  instruction manuals for imported durable goods 
must be translated into Arabic; and consumer durable goods including, 
but not restricted to, large appliances must be able to operate without 
a transformer on Kuwait's 240 volt, 59 hertz power transmission system. 
 
J.  Free Trade Zones/Warehouses 
 
There are no free trade zones (FTZ) in Kuwait.  However, a Dutch company 
was entrusted with the task of conducting a feasibility study to 
establish a FTZ at Shuwaikh port with a more liberal customs regime.  It 
is believed that this would boost the re-export trade to Kuwait's 
neighbors, including Iran.  No decision has yet been made to set up the 
FTZ. 
 
Warehouses are available in Kuwait, both at the two main ports of 
Shuwaikh and Shuaiba as well as in large refrigerated warehouses in 
other locations.  Several leading importers also have their own 
warehousing facilities. 
 
K.  Special Import Provisions 
 
(See sections C, E, F, G and H above.) 
 
L.  Membership in Free Trade Arrangements 
 
Kuwait is a member of the World Trade Organization. 
 
 
 
 
VII.  INVESTMENT CLIMATE 
 
 
A.  Openness to Foreign Investment 
 
Government Policy: 
 
Joint Venture and Foreign Investment Restrictions:  Foreign ownership in 
joint ventures with Kuwaiti firms is now limited to 49 percent.  Foreign 
firms may not invest in the oil sector yet.  Proposals for upstream 
participation are being considered.  Foreign firms may own up to 40 
percent of banks and public companies scheduled for privatization.  
Foreign investment in real estate is limited to nationals of the other 
GCC-member states.  Foreigners (again with the exception of GCC 
nationals) are not permitted to invest in stocks directly through the 
Kuwait stock exchange.  Other sectors such as telecommunications, health 
care and airlines are still government-run, but may become more 
accessible to foreign investment when they are scheduled for near-term 
privatization. 
 
Since the 1970's, Kuwait's economy has been dominated by the state and 
the nationalized oil industry.  State intervention increased in the 
1970's and early 1980's as the government tried to solve the 1982 "Souk 
Al-Manak" stock market collapse.  The invasion of Kuwait exacerbated 
economic problems.  After liberation, the government purchased 
outstanding debts from the banks and put through a debt settlement law.  
In the short term, this increased the government involvement in the 
economy.  Government officials have said they intend to reverse the 
trend. 
 
The means of reversing government control would be a privatization 
program.  Hence, the entire foreign investment scene could change 
dramatically in a short time.  At the time of this writing in July, 
1995, Kuwait has before it a number of World Bank studies recommending 
privatization of large segments and key sectors of its economy.  A 
number of industries, starting with the telecommunications sector, may 
actually be privatized in 1996. 
 
In addition, large investments in joint ventures are underway.  Union 
Carbide and the Petrochemical Industries Corporation (PIC) have planned 
a $2 billion petrochemical complex here that will primarily serve the 
emerging Asian markets. 
 
Foreign finance, particularly officially supported export credits, is a 
required element in large sales or projects here.  Foreign owned firms 
and the foreign owned portions of joint ventures are subject to 
corporate income tax as high as 55 percent.  GCC-wide agreements may 
alter particular provisions of the Kuwaiti tax laws as efforts to 
harmonize GCC laws move forward.  Kuwait levies no income tax on any 
Kuwait residents or Kuwaiti national in business. 
 
Commercial Agency & Commercial Representatives' Law 
 
Kuwait's Commercial Law No. 68 of 1980 describes contract and commission 
agents and commercial representatives and Law No. 36 of 1964 requires 
agents to be Kuwaiti nationals.  In the post-liberation period there 
were exceptions made to these laws during the emergency period, but 
there have not been any exceptions made recently.  It remains a matter 
of GOK interpretation whether exceptions are available for particular 
purchases. 
 
Other Barriers 
 
Agent and Distributor Rules:  The requirement that a local agent must be 
used in all sales transactions, as currently exists, can create problems 
for some U.S. firms, particularly those that signed hastily without 
consulting with local lawyers before signing an agency agreement.  The 
Embassy can provide a list of lawyers. 
 
Amendments have been proposed to Kuwait's commercial law, which permits 
foreign joint ventures in banking (up to 40 percent ownership) and may, 
in time, permit GCC branch banking.  In addition, the Kuwait Petroleum 
Company, for the first time in its history, has concluded a joint 
venture agreement through its subsidiary Petrochemical Industries 
Company with a U.S. firm for a major (USD 2 billion) investment in 
petrochemicals. 
 
Screening of Foreign Investment:  All proposals for direct foreign 
investment are screened by the licensing authority of the Ministry of 
Commerce and Industry.  In the past, this authority has been used to 
encourage investments in higher technology industries and to discourage 
investments in sectors in which there was judged to be significant 
overcapacity; e.g. the pre-Gulf War hotel industry. 
 
Major Sectors/Matters in which Foreign Investors are Denied National 
Treatment or MFN Treatment:  Under current laws, some specific sectors 
of the economy -- including upstream oil development; insurance; and 
real estate -- have traditionally been closed to foreign investment.  
There are some limited exceptions to this for citizens from GCC states. 
 
There are domestic and GCC reference regulations in force that allow 
discrimination against some suppliers. 
 
The primary boycott of Israel is in place.  Articles 3 and 43 of Law No. 
37 allow the Central Tenders Committee to award contracts to suppliers 
of local products with prices up to ten percent higher than imports. 
 
Foreigners (with the exception of nationals from some GCC states) are 
forbidden to trade in Kuwaiti stocks on the Kuwaiti stock 
exchange, except through the medium of mutual funds.  Kuwaitis, GCC 
nationals and resident expatriates in Kuwait will be permitted to 
purchase shares in a new public investment fund being launched by the 
KIA that will consist of shares on the Kuwait stock exchange. 
 
Services Barriers - Shipping:  In the past, Kuwait prevented access to 
government project cargo by U.S. shipping lines by giving the United 
Arab Shipping Company (UASC) the right of first refusal on all 
government project cargoes.  The U.S. Embassy in Kuwait has been assured 
by the Kuwait government that this no longer applies to shipments from 
U.S. ports.  The Embassy can assist with particular cases. 
 
Privatization Programs:  The Government of Kuwait is sensitive to the 
problems caused by state participation in Kuwait's commercial economy 
and has indicated that it will shortly begin a large privatization 
program.  As noted above, the entire foreign investment scene could 
change dramatically.  As this report is being drafted in July 1995, 
Kuwait has before it a number of World Bank studies recommending the 
privatization of large segments and key sectors of its economy.  A 
number of Industries, starting with the telecommunications sector, may 
actually be privatized this year. 
 
Discrimination against Foreign Investors at the Time of the Initial 
Investment and after the Investment is Made:  Foreign investment is 
discriminated against in several ways:  through the bar on majority 
ownership; the bar on investment in prohibited sectors such as oil and 
financial services; and the different corporate tax treatment (foreign 
firms pay to the extent of their ownership while Kuwaiti firms do not 
pay at all). 
 
U.S. and Foreign Firms Participation in Government Financed and/or 
Subsidized Research and Development Programs on a National Treatment 
Basis:  Few U.S. firms are interested in research and development in 
Kuwait.  Offset requirements may change this.  The Kuwait Institute for 
Scientific Research (KISR) is interested in working with foreign firms. 
 
That said, there has been little foreign firm participation in research 
and development work in Kuwait financed by the Kuwait government.  While 
there are no specific bars to foreign participation in this area, any 
program would likely be evaluated on a case by case basis.  U.S. 
participation that brought expertise unavailable locally would be 
welcomed in most cases. 
 
High Business Taxation:  Corporate taxation in Kuwait is applied only to 
foreign firms and has become a major problem for U.S. and other firms 
seeking to establish a permanent business presence in Kuwait.  Rates are 
high, ranging up to 55 percent of gross profits. 
 
Exclusions for business expenses are arbitrarily limited to very low 
levels, e.g., three percent of gross revenues for all head office 
expenses in some cases (mainly for turnkey supply and installation-type 
contracts).  Offshore as well as onshore income is taxed.  Finally, 
administration of the entire tax code is arbitrary and capricious, 
leaving foreign firms without a basis on which to estimate their 
ultimate tax liability. 
 
Discriminatory or Excessively Onerous Visa, Residence or Work Permit 
Requirements, or Similar Requirements Inhibiting Foreign Investors:  
Kuwait has a stringent visa and work permit scheme.  There have recently 
been reciprocal liberalizations that have benefitted U.S. citizens 
coming here on business visits, particularly the advent of 10-year 
multiple entry visas.  A local sponsor is required for most work 
permits.  Any problems experienced by potential U.S. visitors should be 
referred to the Bureau of Consular Affairs, Department of State. 
 
Investment Incentives and Favored Treatment for Foreign Investors 
 
Investment Incentives (e.g. grants, tax deferrals, special access to 
credit, import quota exceptions, etc.) Available to Foreign Investors 
and Favored Treatment Given to Foreign Investors:  There is a movement 
underway to expand the investment incentives available to foreign 
investors.  At the moment, incentives -- in the form of exemptions from 
import duties and corporate income taxes for periods of up to ten years 
-- are officially available only for industrial undertakings approved by 
the Council of Ministers in which Kuwaiti citizens hold a majority 
share. 
 
Efficient Capital Markets and Portfolio Investment 
 
Kuwait has an open financial system and policies facilitate the free 
flow of financial resources.  There is a free flow of resources in the 
product and factor markets of Kuwait subject to the legal restrictions 
outlined above. 
 
Efficient Capital Markets:  Kuwait has a free, but, to date, not very 
efficient, capital market.  Underpinned by government subsidies, that 
market -- and particularly Kuwait's commercial banks -- functioned 
throughout the 1980's basically to collect funds for relending to 
favored customers.  Payment discipline was lax and real economic losses 
common, though disguised by government programs, including, in 
particular, government guarantees for all the liabilities, equity and 
profits of Kuwaiti banks. 
 
Under a bank stabilization program introduced in 1992, the Central Bank 
purchased all of the outstanding domestic credits of Kuwait's commercial 
banks, while eliminating all guarantees for profits as well as equity 
and liabilities other than the bank's deposit liabilities.  Henceforth, 
all losses will stay with the banks, which will be responsible for the 
management of all their assets and liabilities.  The Central Bank has 
also taken steps to sharply improve bank supervision.  As a result, 
credit distribution through Kuwait's banking system is far more 
efficient and rational than it has been in the past. 
 
Kuwait maintains a well-regulated stock exchange, which reopened on 
September 28, 1992 for the first time since the war, and which now lists 
43 stocks of Kuwaiti companies, 7 companies from other Gulf states and 2 
Kuwaiti mutual funds (The First Investment Fund and The Real Estate 
Investment Fund).  To date, only Kuwaiti citizens and nationals from 
some GCC states are permitted to trade stocks on the exchange, but there 
are plans, reportedly, to broaden participation, both as regards the 
parties that may trade on the exchange and the companies that may be 
listed there. 
 
Credit is allocated on market terms and under a variety of government 
programs.  Foreign investors are able to get credit on the local market.  
The private sector has access to a variety of credit instruments through 
local banks. 
 
Legal, regulatory, and accounting systems tend to be more opaque than 
transparent, but are generally consistent with international norms.  The 
Central Bank of Kuwait requires annual reports for local banks to meet 
international accounting standards.  Local legal and financial advice 
should be sought for complicated investments and transactions.  There is 
not an effective regulatory system established to encourage and 
facilitate portfolio, non-GCC investment in the local stock market.  
Kuwait is a major overseas investor. 
 
The total assets of the country's five largest banks in Kuwait as of 
December 31, 1994 were: 
 
Bank              KD million  USD million 
 
National Bank of Kuwait           3,971       13,501 
Gulf Bank                 1,390        4,726 
Bank of Kuwait and the Middle East         844        2,870 
Burgan Bank                 860        2,924 
Kuwait Real Estate Bank             349        1,187 
 
KD 1.00 equals USDols 3.40 
 
The quality of local banks varies from Blue Chip, World-Class operations 
to very weak.  Portions of some bank assets have been non-performing in 
the past.  The balance sheets of some local banks are heavily weighted 
toward lower yielding government bonds. 
 
There are no "cross-shareholding" and "stable shareholding" arrangements 
used by private firms to restrict foreign investment through mergers and 
acquisitions because there is very little foreign investment in Kuwait. 
 
As there are very few hostile takeovers in Kuwait, there are few 
defensive measures to protect against this practice. 
 
There are no laws or regulations specifically authorizing private firms 
to adopt articles of incorporation/association which limit or prohibit 
foreign investment, participation, or control. 
 
Private Sector and/or Government Efforts to Restrict Foreign 
Participation in Industry Standards-Setting Consortia or Organizations:  
Post is not aware of any specific cases of such restrictive 
participation.  U.S. suppliers have difficulty complying with 
specifications that are technologically tailored closely to equipment 
offered by other (mostly European) suppliers.  Existing standards favor 
European (especially U.K.) suppliers.  U.S. suppliers' preference for 
turnkey projects does not match the Kuwait government's preference for 
splitting large projects into a series of small ones (with each one 
tendered separately).  The role of GCC-wide standards will be critical 
in the future. 
 
Other Practices by Private Firms to Restrict Foreign Investment, 
Participation, or Control in/of Domestic Enterprises:  Kuwait is a very 
big small town.  Family, clan and tribal ties throughout the business 
community and government can restrict foreign participation, investment 
and control of domestic enterprises. 
 
Foreign Direct Investment Statistics:  Kuwaiti public investments abroad 
consist of the portfolio investments held by the Kuwait Investment 
Authority, which are now estimated at between USD 35 billion and USD 39 
billion, and the direct investments of the Kuwait Petroleum Corporation 
in oil production, refining and distribution.  Specific investments of 
KIA are not divulged and are protected by stringent state secrecy laws.  
In addition, private Kuwaitis hold foreign assets, in the form of both 
direct and portfolio investments, of about USD 30 billion. 
 
B.  Conversion and Transfer Policies 
 
Convertibility Policies 
 
The Kuwaiti Dinar is freely convertible at an exchange rate calculated 
daily on the basis of a basket of currencies, which is weighted to 
reflect Kuwait's trade and capital flows.  In practice, the Kuwaiti 
Dinar has closely followed the exchange rate fluctuations of the U.S. 
Dollar. 
 
Transfer Policies 
 
There are no restrictions on current or capital account transactions in 
Kuwait, beyond a requirement that all foreign exchange purchases be made 
through a bank or licensed foreign exchange dealer.  Equity, loan 
capital, interest, dividends, profits, royalties, fees and personal 
savings can all be transferred in or out of Kuwait without hindrance. 
 
However, on capital transfers in or out of Kuwait, a large portion of 
Kuwait's foreign investment is mediated by public agencies and 
corporations, such as the Kuwait Investment Authority and the Kuwait 
Petroleum Corporation, which are subject to government guidance 
regarding both the form and the direction of those investments. 
 
C.  Expropriation and Compensation 
 
There have been no recent cases of expropriation or nationalization 
involving foreign investments in Kuwait.  In the past, when foreign 
companies were nationalized (as in the case of the nationalization of 
Kuwait's oil industry during the 1970's), the foreign interests were 
compensated promptly and effectively. 
 
D.  Dispute Settlement 
 
Kuwait does not generally permit international arbitration in the case 
of commercial or investment disputes.  Kuwait, however, is a member of 
the International Center for the Settlement of Investment Disputes  
(ICSID) and has adhered to the New York Convention on the Recognition 
and Enforcement of Arbitral Awards.  Clauses specifying recourse to 
international arbitration are only occasionally written into commercial 
contracts.  As a result, many disputes are still settled in local courts 
or through traditional commercial and political negotiations.  Central 
Bank of Kuwait experts state that Kuwait's judicial system recognizes 
and enforces foreign judgments only when reciprocal arrangements are in 
place. 
 
Investment Disputes:  There have been few investment disputes involving 
American firms in Kuwait.  Commercial disputes are much more common.  In 
both cases, the slow pace of the legal system here can be very 
frustrating to American claimants. 
 
Legal System:  Kuwait has a developed legal system.  It is a civil code 
system influenced by traditional Islamic Sharia law.  As a traditional 
trading nation, the judiciary here is familiar with international 
commercial laws.  Kuwait has been a GATT member since 1963 and has 
signed the WTO agreement.  Kuwait is not a signatory to the GATT 
government procurement code. 
 
Boycott:  While Kuwait in June 1993 publicly announced the end of 
enforcement of the secondary and tertiary Arab League boycotts of 
Israel, official publication of implementing regulations continues to be 
delayed.  The Brown Amendment requirements may speed action in this 
area.  Some contracts continue to contain boycott clauses reportable 
under U.S. antiboycott laws.  However, when these clauses are brought to 
the attention of the GOK officials, these officials see to it that the 
clauses are not enforced.  Kuwait has said it will wait for Arab League 
action before eliminating the primary boycott of Israel. 
 
Import Policies:  Changes to adopt a "highest common denominator" tariff 
in Kuwait have been supported by local industries seeking tariff 
protection and those seeking to increase government revenues.  In 
addition, local industrial protection rules, including higher tariffs, 
are under consideration by the GOK.  These rules were waived in the 
post-liberation period.  Efforts to harmonize GCC tariffs have lead to 
suggestions to harmonize "upward" rather than "downward" for some 
products. 
 
Secured Interests in Property:  Kuwaiti law permits private ownership of 
property by its citizens, but severely restricts the types of collateral 
creditors may have recourse to in the event of default by a borrower.  
Banks may not foreclose on residential real property or personal 
property in the event of default, but they may, however, sue the 
borrower for the balance due under the loan contract.  Borrowers 
normally pledge a portion of their future severance benefits as 
collateral for a bank loan.  Non-GCC foreigners are not permitted to own 
land. 
 
Commercial Environment:  The central role of the government throughout 
the economy cannot be underestimated.  In one way or another, the GOK 
owns or controls over 70 percent of the local economy. 
 
The economic recovery of in Kuwait should be somewhat stronger and 
broader in 1995 than in 1994.  For 1994, GDP should be in the range of 
USD 27 billion, before increasing in 1995 to slightly more than USD 28 
billion, largely on the strength of increased oil production and in 
spite of lower world oil prices. 
 
That said, the Kuwaiti business community and many Kuwaitis feel poorer 
than before.  The decline in the consumer sector continues, caused by 
profound population shifts within Kuwait.  The current population is 
estimated at 1.83 million (37.2 percent Kuwaiti), down from the prewar 
population of 2.3 million.  Over 300,000 middle class consumers are 
gone, replaced by lower paid workers who seek to minimize their in-
country expenditures in order to maximize their remittances back home. 
 
The IMF team prescribed a program that is classic for a country with a 
budget deficit - reduce subsidies, raise taxes and fees, reduce the 
public sector and promote privatization and free enterprise.  Whether 
this will work in Kuwait remains to be seen.  The Kuwaiti population has 
grown used to its welfare state benefits and is likely to resist 
reductions. 
 
The government has begun to privatize part of its holdings.  In theory, 
this should work.  In practice, this is a small country and 
privatizations here could be subject to abuse and manipulation unless 
they are carefully planned.  To date, the government has chosen to sell 
off its shares in a number of publicly traded companies.  A key question 
is whether portions of privatizations will be placed overseas and/or 
with expatriates. 
 
Government Tenders:  For some tenders, Embassy intervention may be 
required to get suppliers onto lists of prequalified companies or onto 
the selected tender shortlists.  The same criteria for foreign and 
domestic suppliers may be used, but domestic suppliers often have an 
advantage with their knowledge of the local market.  In some cases, the 
tailoring of bid specifications to favor particular companies has been 
alleged. 
 
Ministries and government departments may sole source, i.e. may purchase 
or tender independently of the Central Tenders Committee, if the value 
of the purchase is less than KD 5,000 (USD 17,000).  The CTC may allow a 
GOK ministry or department to exceed this limit if the sole sourcing is 
in "the public interest" (Article 3 of Law No. 37).  Some tenders have 
been issued on short notice.  Standards and specifications have been 
tailored to favor particular suppliers or bidders in the past. 
 
Binding International Arbitration of Investment Disputes between Foreign 
Investors and the State:  Kuwait is a signatory to the International 
Center for the Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID - also known as 
the Washington Convention) and the New York Convention of 1958 on the 
Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards. 
 
E.  Political Violence 
 
Politically Motivated Damage to Projects and/or Installations:  
Terrorism in Kuwait is benign, but the potential for it to occur is 
high.  The threat of terrorism in Kuwait comes primarily from Iran and 
Iraq.  Iran, in particular, has demonstrated the capability to conduct 
worldwide terrorist operations through surrogates.  Iraq was responsible 
for the attempted attack on former President George Bush during his 
visit to Kuwait in April, 1993.  Small-scale bombings of cinema, video 
and music houses have occurred, but the last such bombing occurred in 
early 1994.  No group claimed responsibility and the perpetrators were 
not apprehended by Kuwaiti authorities.  There have been no politically 
motivated attacks on U.S. projects and/or installations in Kuwait since 
liberation in 1991, except for a mysterious drive-by shooting in mid-
1993 in which a building housing U.S. contractors was fired upon. 
 
F.  Performance Requirements/Incentives 
 
The only trade-related performance requirements are a new offset 
program, which has established offset obligations (to be settled through 
countertrade, training or investment programs) in the case of all 
government contracts in excess of KD 1.00 million (i.e., USD 3.4 
million).  These obligations can range from very low levels to as much 
as 30 percent of the value of the contract, depending on the type, area 
and structure of the investment.  All obligations are to be settled 
within ten years, with a penalty (equivalent to 6 percent of the value 
of the contract) payable in the case of non-performance.  Further 
details are available from the U.S. & Foreign Commercial Service at the 
U.S. Embassy in Kuwait or the Finance Ministry Countertrade Offset 
Program Executive Office. 
 
G.  Right to Private Ownership and Establishment 
 
Rights to private ownership and establishment are respected in Kuwait, 
though, as noted above, foreigners face special restrictions.  Licenses 
from the Ministry of Commerce and Industry are required for the 
establishment of all new companies.  In addition, some sectors of the 
economy, including oil production and refining, are dominated by state-
owned monopolies.  Government ownership is common in other sectors of 
the economy, including banking and insurance, in part as a result of 
stock interests acquired during rescue programs following the crash of 
the "Souk Al-Manakh" stock market in 1982. 
 
H.  Protection of Property Rights 
 
Intellectual property rights protection remains extremely lax in Kuwait.  
Kuwait is not party to any worldwide conventions for the protection of 
intellectual property rights.  While it has had patent and trademark 
laws since 1962, the penalties under both are so low (a maximum fine of 
$2,100) as to be ineffective in deterring illegal activities.  The 
patent law, moreover, excludes certain chemical inventions involving 
food, pharmaceuticals and medicines, and offers a term of protection of 
only fifteen, rather than 20, years.  It also contains extraordinary 
provisions for compulsory licensing whenever a patent is insufficiently 
used in Kuwait or is of "great importance to national industry." 
 
Patents:  Patent laws in Kuwait are under examination.  Current laws do 
not meet currently accepted international standards. 
 
Copyrights:  Kuwait also has no copyright law, with the result that 
there is now a large, overt market for pirated software, cassettes and 
videotapes, as well as unauthorized Arabic translations of foreign 
language books.  The new draft law on copyrights which was submitted to 
the National Assembly early in 1993 continues to languish in committee.  
The draft still does not provide adequate protection for foreign works, 
sound recordings or compilations of facts and data.  The terms of 
protection for different types of works are also short and penalties for 
infringement relatively light. 
 
Responding to repeated calls from the U.S., Kuwait has been working 
closely with U.S. copyright experts to bring its draft copyright law up 
to accepted international standards.  In addition, the government 
recently issued a decree (regulation) providing protection for U.S.--and 
only U.S.--sound and video recordings.  Under this decree, all pirated 
U.S. tapes must be off shop shelves by August 1.  Much of this movement 
started after Kuwait was given special mention as a copyright violator 
in the U.S. Special Trade Representative Special 301 trade report in 
April 1995.  Although this is the mildest reprimand possible, it is the 
first time Kuwait has been named in the report. 
 
Trademarks:  In the past, companies on the boycott list have been denied 
trademark protection in Kuwait. 
 
Trade Secrets:  There are no statutory provisions for the protection of 
trade secrets in Kuwait; protection depends entirely on that negotiated 
in a contract between the party disclosing the trade secret and the 
party exploiting that secret commercially in Kuwait. 
 
Semiconductor Chip Layout Design:  Semiconductor chip layout design is 
not protected under Kuwaiti law. 
 
I.  Regulatory System:  Laws and Procedures 
 
The government has not adopted a transparent policy and effective laws 
to foster competition since there is no meaningful antitrust division in 
the Kuwait government.  In addition, there are few tax, labor, health 
and safety, and other laws and policies designed to avoid distortions or 
impediments to the efficient mobilization and allocation of investment.  
Kuwait's low tariff barriers and open market are the most important 
factors in the allocation and mobilization of investment.  The Kuwaitis 
are sophisticated international investors.  Bureaucratic procedures can 
be time consuming and prone to the red tape that is a feature of this 
part of the world. 
 
Regulatory Policies:  Kuwait is a small, open economy, which has 
generally been able to rely upon a flood of foreign goods and services 
to maintain fair competitive conditions.  However, where government 
intervention has occurred, it has tended to favor Kuwaiti citizens and 
Kuwaiti-owned companies.  Income taxes, for instance, are currently 
levied on foreign corporations and foreign interests in Kuwaiti 
corporations at rates that may range as high as 55 percent of all net 
income. 
 
Government procurement policies, similarly, generally specify local 
products, when available, and prescribe a 10 percent price advantage for 
local companies on government tenders.  There is also a blanket agency 
requirement, which requires all foreign companies trading in Kuwait to 
either engage a Kuwaiti agent or establish a Kuwaiti company, with 
majority Kuwaiti ownership and management.  Finally, in labor markets, 
resident foreign nationals are subject to special taxes and fees that 
are intended to both discourage their employ and limit their tenure in 
Kuwait. 
 
Government Procurement:  Law No. 37 of 1964, as modified by Laws Nos. 
18/70 and 81/77, governing public tenders in Kuwait requires a foreign 
person or company to bid on public tenders through a Kuwaiti agent or 
partner (article 5). 
 
Local Preference:  Kuwait government procurement policies specify local 
products when available and prescribe a 10 percent price advantage for 
local firms in government tenders.  Offset guidelines specify that 
foreign firms awarded government contracts worth over KD 1 million 
(about USD 3.4 million) must invest as much as 30 percent of the 
contract value in a project in Kuwait, the GCC or the rest of the Arab 
world. 
 
Offset regulations are changing and complicated.  U.S. firms affected by 
Kuwaiti offset regulations should consult with the U.S. Embassy in 
Kuwait, the Kuwait Finance Ministry Countertrade Offset Program 
Executive Office and local expert advisors on the particular provisions 
and obligations that will apply.  Although U.S. companies have been 
successful in increasing their sales in Kuwait, discrimination against 
U.S. products and services has occurred in many sectors of Kuwait's 
public purchasing.  Evidence of this is anecdotal and based on input 
provided sporadically by local business executives to post. 
 
In most sectors, some U.S. suppliers have overcome such discrimination 
through aggressive pricing, thorough presentation of their products or 
services' technical merits, quick responses to foreign competitors' 
claims and financial packages and vigilant lobbying by energetic local 
agents.  U.S., British and French firms have announced offset projects 
in Kuwait; Japanese and Korean firms are expected to follow suit 
shortly. 
 
J.  Bilateral Investment Agreements 
 
Kuwait has concluded bilateral investment treaties with Germany, France, 
Italy, Russia, China, Romania, Poland, Hungary, Turkey, Malaysia and 
Malta.  It has initialled an agreement on bilateral investment with 
Denmark and has an agreement with Switzerland under negotiation. 
 
K.  OPIC and Other Investment Insurance Programs 
 
In 1989, Kuwait concluded an agreement with the United States on 
investment guaranty programs, which facilitated the extension of 
programs from the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) to 
Kuwait.  Activity under the OPIC program has increased noticeably as 
Kuwait's recovery has gained momentum and foreign investment has 
resumed.  Kuwait is a member of the Multilateral Investment Guarantee 
Agency (MIGA). 
 
L.  Labor 
 
Kuwait has a diverse labor force.  Kuwaiti nationals occupy most of the 
top management positions in the private and government sectors of the 
economy.  Moreover, unemployment among Kuwaitis is virtually nonexistent 
as a result of government policies to promote the hiring of Kuwaitis in 
both sectors.  Kuwaitis are outnumbered in the work force, however, by 
expatriate laborers of diverse backgrounds.  While there are a number of 
American and Western European workers in Kuwait, particularly in the 
higher-skilled positions, the vast majority of expatriate workers are 
lower paid laborers from other Middle Eastern countries and South Asia.  
Prior to the Gulf War, Palestinians occupied many of the country's 
middle-management positions.  Following the war, however, most of those 
positions have been filled by workers of other nationalities, often 
Egyptian. 
 
Since liberation, the government of Kuwait has adopted policies intended 
to limit the resident expatriate population, which, before the war, 
accounted for approximately 80 percent of Kuwait's 700,000 person work 
force.  To enforce this program, the government has instituted a quota 
system on work permits, forbade the transfer of workers from one sponsor 
to another within the private sector and levied relatively high 
residency fees on the families of foreign workers.  These measures, in 
turn, have raised the cost of employing foreign workers. 
 
Kuwaiti workers have the right to organize and bargain collectively, but 
Kuwaiti law prevents the establishment of more than one union per 
functional area or more than one general confederation.  Foreign 
workers, who still constitute the vast majority of the work force, are 
permitted by law to join unions as nonvoting members after five years of 
residence in Kuwait.  The right to strike is also recognized for private 
sector workers, though that right is limited by provisions calling for 
compulsory negotiation and, eventually, arbitration in the case of 
disputes.  Kuwaiti labor law prohibits antiunion discrimination. 
 
Kuwaiti labor law sets work conditions for both the public and private 
sectors, with the oil industry treated separately.  Forced labor is 
prohibited, and the minimum age for employment is eighteen years.  A 
two-tiered labor market ensures high wages for Kuwaiti employees while 
foreign workers, particularly unskilled laborers, receive substantially 
lower wages.  There is no minimum wage for the private sector; in the 
public sector, the current effective minimum wage is KD 226 (i.e., USD 
775) per month for Kuwaiti bachelors and KD 301 (i.e., USD 1,030) per 
month for married Kuwaitis.  The basic labor law also limits the work 
week to 48 hours, provides for a minimum 14 days leave per year and 
establishes a compensation schedule for industrial accidents. 
 
The ILO's Committee of Experts (COE) reiterated in 1993 its longstanding 
criticisms of a number of discrepancies between the Kuwaiti labor code 
and ILO conventions 1, 30 and 87 on hours of work and freedom of 
association.  Areas criticized by the ILO included the prohibition on 
establishing more than one trade union for a given field, the 
requirement that a new union must have at least 100 workers, the 
requirement that foreign workers must reside in Kuwait for five years 
before joining a trade union, the denial of foreign trade unionists, the 
right to vote and to be elected, the prohibition against trade unions 
engaging in any political or religious activity, and the reversion of 
trade union assets to the Ministry of Social Affairs and Labor in the 
event of dissolution. 
 
M.  Foreign Trade Zones/Free Ports 
 
There are no opportunities to invest in free trade zones or free ports 
in Kuwait as there are no such facilities in Kuwait at this time.  
However, as part of a study on the future of Kuwait's ports, the Kuwaiti 
Public Ports Authority has contracted for a feasibility study on the 
possibility of establishing a free trade zone. 
 
N.  Capital Outflow Policy 
 
Kuwait has an open capital market and is a major overseas investor.  
Kuwait offers no incentives for investment in developing countries. 
 
O.  Major Foreign Investors 
 
There are only two major foreign investors in Kuwait, both of which are 
oil companies operating in the divided Neutral Zone between Kuwait and 
Saudi Arabia under concession agreements that involve Saudi Arabia, 
either wholly or in part. 
 
The first of these is the U.S.-owned Getty Oil Company which holds a 
Saudi concession of one-half of the on-shore oil rights in the divided 
zone. 
 
The second is the Japanese-owned Arabian Oil Company, which holds 
offshore concessions in the divided zone from both Saudi Arabia and 
Kuwait. 
 
Union Carbide has a joint venture with KPC's Petrochemical Industries 
Company for a USD 2 billion dollar petrochemical project, construction 
of which is underway.  There are also proposals for private power plants 
under consideration by the Ministry of Electricity and Water.  Sprint 
International has a joint venture with the Ministry of Communications to 
provide telecommunications services in Kuwait.  (A listing of U.S. joint 
ventures in Kuwait known to the Embassy is included in Appendix D 
below.)  Investments by all other countries in all other sectors of the 
economy in Kuwait are, to date, extremely small. 
 
 
 
VIII.  TRADE AND PROJECT FINANCING 
 
A.  Description of the Banking System 
 
Under the supervision and authority of the Central Bank of Kuwait, the 
Kuwaiti financial sector is made up of seven commercial banks that 
follow international banking standards. These banks provide traditional 
banking services such as savings accounts, traveler's checks, credit 
cards, money market accounts, remittances, etc.  In addition, Kuwaiti 
banks can provide U.S. companies and individuals with financial 
assistance and support.  The Kuwait Finance House is the only Islamic 
bank in Kuwait providing services and products comparable to those of a 
Western-style commercial bank. 
 
There are also three specialized government banks in Kuwait which 
provide medium and long term financing.  For example, the Industrial 
Bank of Kuwait helps finance industrial and agricultural projects.  The 
Kuwait Real Estate Bank (KREB), on the other hand, helps finance lending 
for real estate purposes.  The role of the Credit and Savings Bank is to 
help Kuwaiti individuals with financial support for housing and personal 
residential development. 
 
Kuwaiti banks have full correspondent relationships with major U.S. 
banks.  The banks most frequently mentioned as providing a wide range of 
correspondent services are Citibank, Bankers Trust and Chemical Bank.  
There are, however, numerous other American banks providing specific 
services such as investment advice, credit card processing, traveler's 
check processing and foreign exchange trading services.  In addition, 
many non-U.S. banks with operations in the United States also have firm 
correspondent relationships with Kuwaiti banks.  These include Credit 
Lyonnais, Deutsche Bank, Dresdner Bank and Standard Chartered Bank. 
 
Due to the broad and sophisticated nature of operations at Kuwaiti 
banks, there are expectations that foreign correspondent banks should be 
able to respond to a full range of banking needs.  Kuwaiti banks have a 
global perspective and expect their foreign correspondents to work with 
them at that level. 
 
B.  Foreign Exchange Controls Affecting Trading 
 
There are no foreign exchange restrictions in Kuwait.  The Kuwaiti Dinar 
is freely convertible for all current and capital account transactions 
at an exchange rate calculated daily on the basis of a basket of 
currencies which is weighted to reflect Kuwait's trade flows.  In 
practice, the Kuwaiti Dinar has closely followed the exchange rate 
fluctuations of the U.S. dollar over the past year. 
 
C.  General Financing Availability 
 
Financing is available through a Kuwaiti bank upon the presentation of 
required documentation and the opening of an account.  A U.S. company 
may also receive financing through their local agent or by a joint 
venture partnership formed with its Kuwaiti counterpart. Banks are able 
to provide financial facilities direct to the U.S. company based on its 
financial statements or supported by a counter guaranty from a reputable 
bank in the U.S.  Facilities can be made available in Kuwaiti Dinars or 
other major currencies.  Alternatively, to obtain the necessary 
facilities, the U.S. firm through its agent, could assign the proceeds 
of the contract in favor of the local bank (the lender). 
 
Requirements to Open a Company Account in a Kuwaiti Bank: 
 
--  Memorandum of Association 
--  Articles of Association 
--  Board Resolution - stating the persons authorized to open and 
operate the account on behalf of the company and obtain any form of 
credit facilities.  This resolution should also state who has the 
authority to amend the signatories to the account. 
 
--  All of the above documents should be notarized by a chamber of 
commerce and the Kuwait Embassy in Washington D.C. 
--  Account Opening Forms duly signed (in the presence of     the Bank 
Officer) 
--  Photocopies of the passport of the U.S. firm's representative 
 
In addition, U.S. companies may approach local lead agents such as 
investment companies and/or banks to issue KD bonds on their behalf 
under the company name.  Approval for the issuance of the bonds is 
subject to the financial standing of the company, a market study, and 
the approval of the Central Bank of Kuwait.  The advantage of using 
bonds as a financing tool is to avoid foreign exchange fluctuations over 
the term of the contract. 
 
Products and services available through Kuwaiti banks include: 
 
--  Bid bonds, performance bonds, advance payments,     guarantees, 
retention bonds, etc. 
--  Sight and usance letters of credit in any major     currency 
--  Cash facilities (i.e. lines of credit, loans) in Kuwaiti dinars or 
other major currencies 
--  Foreign exchange hedging lines 
--  Day-to-day banking transactions for the company and its employees 
 
D.  Means of Financing Exports/Methods of Payment 
 
Subject to the nature of the consignment, financing by Kuwaiti banks can 
be offered on a variety of terms.  These include: 
 
--  direct payment 
--  cash in advance 
--  documentary collection 
--  letters of credit 
--  letters of guarantee 
 
The Kuwaiti banking system is highly professional and fully capable of 
handling short and medium term financing for all types of transactions 
in the major currencies of the world. 
 
E.  Types of Available Export Financing and Insurance 
 
Eximbank facilities are available for public sector imports of U.S. 
goods and services through the Kuwait Investment Authority (the sole 
government body to borrow on behalf of the state, government ministries 
and government agencies.) 
 
Private sector firms can obtain their financing through local banks 
either in the name of their local agent, the U.S. firm, or jointly. 
 
F.  Project Financing Available 
 
Gulf Investment Corporation (GIC), headquartered in Kuwait and formed by 
the six Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries, namely Bahrain, 
Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Oman and the United Arab Emirates, is a 
multi-service financial institution.  GIC's objective is to provide a 
range of financial services to both corporate and private investors.  
These include portfolio management, syndications, new bond and equity 
issues, financial advisory services, other capital market activities and 
direct investment.  GIC's strategy for direct investment is to promote 
joint venture partnerships in such fields as manufacturing, agriculture, 
minerals and other industrial services in the form of equity and debt 
funding. 
 
The International Investor (TII), a private Islamic investment bank, 
also specializes in the design and delivery of a range of international 
and local investment products and services, including project and export 
finance.  TII provides corporations and individuals with custom-made 
financial services and products designed to meet the specific needs and 
requirements of U.S. companies.  U.S. firms may also consider the 
financial services offered by the International Investment Group (IIG), 
another private Islamic investment bank. 
 
G.  Banks with Correspondent U.S. Banking Arrangements 
 
Local Bank          Correspondent Bank 
 
Al-Ahli Bank          Bank of America 
P.O.Box 21923 Safat 
13014  Kuwait 
Tel.:  (965) 244-4444 
Fax.:  (965) 242-4557 
Acting General Manager:  Masoud Hayat 
 
Bank of Bahrain & Kuwait      Citibank 
P.O.Box 24396 Safat        Gulf International Bank 
13104 Kuwait 
Tel.:  (965) 241-7140 
Fax.:  (965) 244-0937 
Chairman:  Rashid A. Al Zayani 
 
Bank of Kuwait & the Middle East  Bankers Trust 
P.O.Box 71 Safat         Hong Kong Shanghai Banking 
13001  Kuwait          Group 
Tel.:  (965) 245-9771      Chemical Bank 
Fax.:  (965) 246-1430 
Managing Director:  Ali Abdul Rahman Al-Rasheed Al-Bader 
 
Burgan Bank          Bankers Trust 
P.O.Box 5389 Safat        Citibank 
13054  Kuwait 
Tel.:  (965) 243-9000 
Fax.:  (965) 246-1148 
Chairman & Managing Director:  Sheikh Ahmed A. Al Sabah 
 
Commercial Bank of Kuwait    Chemical Bank 
P.O.Box 2861 Safat        Commercial Bank of Kuwait, 
13029   Kuwait          N.Y. Branch 
Tel:  (965) 241-1011 
Fax:  (965) 245-0150 
Chief General Manager:  Mohamad A. Al Yahya 
 
Gulf Bank            Citibank 
P.O.Box 3200 Safat        Bankers Trust 
130032  Kuwait 
Tel.:  (965) 244-9501 
Fax.:  (965) 244-6126 
Chief Executive Officer:  John Harris 
 
Industrial Bank of Kuwait    Morgan Guaranty Trust 
P.O.Box 3146 Safat 
13032  Kuwait 
Tel.:  (965) 245-7661 
Fax.:  (965) 246-2057 
Chairman & Managing Director:  Saleh M. Al Yousef 
 
Kuwait Finance House      Citibank 
P.O.Box 24989 Safat 
13110  Kuwait 
Tel.:  (965) 244-5050 
Fax.:  (965) 245-5135 
Managing Director:  Bader A. Al Mukhazeem 
 
Kuwait Real Estate Bank      Bank of America 
P.O.Box 22822 Safat 
13089  Kuwait 
Tel.:  (965) 245-8177 
Fax.:  (965) 246-2516 
General Manager:  Mohamed A. Al Farhan 
 
National Bank of Kuwait      National Bank of Kuwait, 
P.O.Box 95 Safat        N.Y. Branch 
13001  Kuwait 
Tel.:  (965) 242-2011 
Fax.:  (965) 264-1456 
Chief General Manager:  Ibrahim Dabdoub 
 
 
 
IX.  BUSINESS TRAVEL 
 
A.  Business Customs 
 
Visiting U.S. business executives will have no communication problems 
with their Kuwaiti counterparts as English is widely spoken and many 
Kuwaitis have been educated abroad. 
 
Private companies work six days a week (Saturday through Thursday).  
Some companies work from 8:00 a.m to 5:00 p.m; others work from 8:00 
p.m. to 12:30 p.m. and from 4:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.  On Thursdays, 
companies work from 8:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. 
Government offices close on Thursdays and Fridays. 
 
Appointments with managers often take place after 9:00 p.m.  During 
summer, Kuwaiti managers prefer to meet with foreign visitors after 6:00 
p.m.  Business during the very hot summer season, especially July and 
August, is very slow as most managers leave the country for vacations 
with their families. 
 
Kuwait is a Moslem country; however, nationals of over 120 countries 
live and work in Kuwait. 
 
Kuwaitis are very hospitable and it is customary for them to invite 
their foreign guests to their diwaniyas in the evenings, or even to 
their chalets (beach/vacation cottages) on weekends. 
 
B.  Travel Advisory and Visas 
 
Passports and visas are required for U.S. citizens traveling to Kuwait, 
and airport visas are not available.  For more information concerning 
entry requirements, travelers may contact the Embassy of Kuwait in 
Washington D.C. at telephone number (202) 966-0702, or the Kuwaiti 
Consulate in New York City, telephone (212) 973-4318. 
 
Business visitors traveling on a temporary or visit visa to Kuwait must 
observe the length of stay permitted in their visa.  Currently, most 
visit visas are valid for ten years, multiple entries and stays of up to 
one month.  Fines are charged for each day overstayed; the fine is 
currently ten Kuwait dinars per day, per person (approximately $34). 
 
Visitors to Kuwait should be aware of the dangers presented by 
unexploded land mines and other ordnance throughout the country.  Stay 
on main roads and do not travel on unpaved roads; avoid open areas and 
deserts.  U.S. citizens should not go near the border with Iraq, and 
should be very careful when traveling north and west of Kuwait City. 
 
Kuwait's crime rate is moderate.  Most criminal activity is directed at, 
and perpetrated by, foreign workers from developing countries residing 
in Kuwait.  Crime against the American community is low.  Sexual 
harassment of women does occur, and suitable precautions should be 
taken.  Visitors to Kuwait should dress conservatively, exercise prudent 
security measures and be sensitive to social and cultural norms in this 
conservative Muslim country.  Use of narcotics is increasing in Kuwait, 
and visitors found with illegal narcotics or substances are subjected to 
tough criminal penalties.  Vehicle accidents and deaths are particularly 
high in Kuwait.  Good road surfaces, coupled with fast, expensive cars 
and light enforcement of traffic regulations make driving hazardous.    
No alcohol, pork products, or pornographic materials may be imported 
into or used in Kuwait.  If prohibited items are discovered in a 
traveler's effects, he or she may be arrested and prosecuted. 
 
C.  Holidays 
 
Government offices close on a number of occasions, including but not 
restricted to, the following:  New Year's Day; Kuwait National Day 
(February 25); Kuwait Liberation Day (Feb. 26); and a number of Islamic 
holidays.  Government offices operate with very limited business hours 
during the holy month of Ramadan (the dates of which vary from one year 
to the next). 
 
Appointments should not be scheduled on Thursdays and Fridays. 
 
D.  Business Infrastructure (e.g. Transportation, Language, 
Communications, Housing, Health, Food, etc.) 
 
Transportation 
 
The road system in Kuwait is modern, well-lit and easily navigated by 
car.  U.S. visitors should be aware, however, that there may not be any 
street addresses in older sections of Kuwait City.  It is always best to 
call ahead to confirm directions and the exact location of the company 
or ministry one intends to visit.  Public transportation is neither air 
conditioned nor reliable.  Air conditioned taxis are readily available 
at major hotels or taxi stands.  Orange taxis should be avoided as they 
are used as commuter shuttles by day laborers.  Car rental is also 
readily available to U.S. visitors with a valid U.S. driver's license 
(which permits one to drive in Kuwait for the duration of one's 
visitor's visa). 
 
Language 
 
Arabic is the official language in Kuwait.  English is the second 
language for most of the expatriate community and the principal language 
of the business community. 
 
Communications 
 
Kuwait has a good communications network.  You can make calls from 
Kuwait to any part of the world from one's apartment (for residents), 
from offices, and from any hotel.  Faxes may be sent from the business 
centers of leading local hotels, such as the Sheraton Kuwait Hotel, 
Holiday Inn Crowne Plaza Kuwait Hotel, Safir International Hotel, Le 
Meridien Kuwait Hotel or Radisson SAS Kuwait Hotel. 
 
Secretarial support is available in business centers at five-star 
hotels.  One page of typing of English text costs approximately $5.00.  
A business executive hotel guest may use these services on a walk-in 
basis.  Written translation from English to Arabic text or vice versa 
costs approximately $17.00 per document up to a maximum of 350 words per 
document.  Oral translation costs about $336.00 per day.  The U.S. & 
Foreign Commercial Service in Kuwait can arrange translation services 
for business visitors with one week's notice. 
 
Housing 
 
Foreigners visiting Kuwait will have no problem finding modern, spacious 
and air conditioned housing.  There are numerous luxurious residential 
complexes, villas, and apartments.  Short-term visitors may stay in 
hotels, or in furnished apartments which are usually rented for minimum 
stays of one week.  Public water and electricity are presently 
subsidized by the Kuwait government; consumers are charged KD 0.300 
($1.00) for 1,000 Imperial gallons of water and KD 0.002 ($0.07) per 
kilowatt hour of electricity.  Local telephone service is free as a 
result of subsidies. 
 
The approximate cost of a medium-size hospitality function at a five-
star hotel would be $20-40/guest for a first-class function.  A week's 
notice is required for such functions. 
 
Health 
 
U.S. business visitors to Kuwait should encounter few health problems 
apart from coping with the extreme heat and large amounts of dust during 
the summer months.  Although tap water is safe to drink, one may wish to 
use bottled water as an added precaution.  Food in Kuwait, including 
salads and dairy products, is generally fresh and healthful; there are 
many fine restaurants. 
 
Medical care in Kuwait is acceptable, but will vary depending on the 
personnel on duty, the nature of one's problem and one's medical 
history.  If one is on medication, then one should bring enough for 
one's entire stay (along with a prescription from one's physician).  As 
there may be instances when one feels more comfortable returning to the 
U.S. for medical treatment, one should consider purchasing a short-term 
medical insurance plan which includes a medical evacuation option. 
 
If one chooses to receive medical care in Kuwait, then one has two 
options:  the government system or the private sector.  For routine care 
in the government system, one should use the polyclinic located in the 
district in which you are staying.  For emergency care, one may access 
any government hospital emergency (casualty) room.  There are seven 
regional hospitals and numerous suburban polyclinics run by the Ministry 
of Public Health.  One should always carry one's passport as 
identification.  Public health care and medicines dispensed at 
government facilities are free.  The private sector has several clinics 
and hospitals which operate on a fee-for-service basis.  One should 
always be a cautious consumer.  One should always ask questions of the 
medical practitioner, such as the name, action and side effects of any 
medication prescribed.  Volunteer useful information without being 
asked, such as one's allergies, medication already in use and medical 
history. 
 
Food 
 
In addition to Middle Eastern cuisine, local restaurants offer a wide 
variety of international cuisines, including French, Italian, Indian, 
Chinese, Japanese, Mexican and American (fast food).  Food is under the 
strict supervision of the health department of the Municipality.  
Imported food supplies cannot be cleared without a certificate from 
health authorities. 
 
 
 
  Appendices 
 
 
Appendix A:  Country Data 
 
 
-  Population:  As of December, 1994 Kuwait's population was estimated 
at 1.83 million (1). 
   
-   Population Growth Rate (%):  The 1993 population growth rate was 
estimated to be 3.62 percent for Kuwaitis and 2.3 percent for the total 
population (2). 
 
-   Religion(s):  Kuwait is an Islamic state and the vast majority of 
the population are Muslim.  Other major religions in Kuwait are 
Christianity, Hinduism and Buddhism. 
 
-   Government System:  The country is ruled by an Amir in conjunction 
with a freely elected National Assembly,  both of which are provided for 
in Kuwait's Constitution. 
 
-   Languages:  Arabic is the official language of the state, but 
English is widely used by the business community. 
 
-   Work Week:  -   The public sector: Saturday through Wednesday. 
        -  The private sector: Saturday through Thursday. 
        -  The banking and financial sector: Sunday through Thursday. 
 
Sources: 
 
(1)  : National Bank of Kuwait 
(2)  : Monthly Digest of Statistics, November 1993, Ministry of 
       Planning 
 
 
 
                                 Appendix B:  Domestic Economy 
                                  (Estimates in USD Millions 
                                      except where noted) 
 
                                         1994    1995    1996 
 
-  GDP (1) "***"                        24,289    25,500   26,200 
-  Population (in million) (2) "***"      1.83      1.90     1.93 
-  GDP Growth Rate (%)  "***"              1.1       5.0      2.8 
-  GDP Per Capita (USD) "***"           16,535    17,345   17,895 
-  Government Spending as percent 
  of GDP (3) "***"                          57        49       48 
-  Inflation (%) (4) "***"                   3       2.5      2.5 
-  Unemployment (%) "*" "***"              0.5       0.5      0.7 
-  Foreign Exchange Reserves 
  "**" (5) "***"                         6,666     6,724    6,900 
-  Average Exchange Rate for 
     USD 1.00 (6) "***"                  0.297     0.299    0.295 
-  Foreign Debt (7) 
  A) Medium/Long Term Debt               6,650     4,775    2,951 
  B) Short Term Debt                     4,337     4,800    5,274 
  Total Foreign Debt                    10,987     9,575    8,225 
-  Debt Service Payments 
  A) Interest Paid                       1,082     1,172      964 
  B) Amortization Paid                     220     2,626    3,348 
  Total Debt Service                     1,302     3,799    4,312 
-  U.S. Economic/Military Assistance        NA        NA       NA 
 
"*" Embassy Note:  This reflects frictional unemployment among Kuwaiti 
citizens.  Unemployment, whether frictional or real, among expatriate 
workers is not reflected.  Underemployment does occur in Kuwait. 
 
"**" includes gold, deposits and cash balances, investment portfolios, 
treasury bills and bonds, and other financial instruments. 
 
"***" U.S. Embassy estimates of 1995 and 1996 data. 
 
Sources of 1994 data: 
 
(1)   :Ministry of Planning, Central Statistical Office. 
(2)   :Ministry of Planning, Central Statistical Office. 
(3)   :Kuwait's Budgets for FY's 93/94, 94/95 and 95/96. 
(4)   :Quoted by the Minister of Finance. 
(5)   :Quarterly Statistical Bulletin, Jan.-Mar. 1995, Central 
       Bank of Kuwait (CBK). 
(6)   :Quarterly Statistical Bulletin, Jan.-Mar. 1995, CBK. 
(7)   :Kuwait Country Report, March 29, 1995, 
       The Institute of International Finance, Inc. 
 
 
 
                       Appendix C:  Trade (1994-1996) 
                            (Estimates in USD Millions 
                               except where noted) 
 
                               1994    1995    1996 
 
-  Total Country Exports      11,986  12,500  13,036 
-  Total Country Imports       6,693   8,218  10,000 
 
-  U.S. Exports                1,175   1,640   1,950 
-  U.S. Imports                1,598   1,686   1,770 
 
 
 
Appendix D:  Investment 
 
-  (No official statistics available) 
 
Post is aware of the following U.S. joint ventures in Kuwait: 
 
-  Carrier Corporation / Morad Yousuf Behbehani 
  (Kuwait American Air Conditioning, K.S.C.) 
-  General Dynamics Land Systems / Kuwait Coastal International 
  (Kuwait Dynamics Limited) 
-  Honeywell, Inc. / A.H. Al-Sagar & Brothers 
  (Honeywell, K.S.C.) 
-  Hughes International Corporation / Dhow Holding Company 
  (Gulf Industrial Technology, K.S.C.) 
-  Motorola International Service / Al-Khaldiya Electronics 
  (Advanced International Electronic Equipment Company, W.L.L.) 
-  Sprint International / Ministry of Communications 
  (Kuwait Electronic Messaging Services) 
-  Telos Corporation / Al-Khaldiya Electronics 
  (Telos International Kuwait) 
-  Turner Construction Company / Project Analysis & Control Systems 
Company (Turner-Projacs) 
-  Union Carbide Corporation / Petrochemical Industries Company (Equate) 
 
 
 
Appendix E:  U.S. & Country Contacts 
 
 
U.S. Embassy Trade-related Personnel 
 
Senior Commercial Officer:  Johnny E. Brown 
  Tel: (965) 242-4151, Fax: (965) 244-7692 
Commercial Attache:  Stewart J. Ballard 
  Tel: (965) 242-4151, Fax: (965) 244-7692 
Senior Commercial Specialist:  Kamal M. Zaher 
  Tel: (965) 242-4151, Fax: (965) 244-7692 
Senior Commercial Specialist:  Mae Hajjaj 
  Tel: (965) 242-4151, Fax: (965) 244-7692 
Commercial Specialist:  Abdulla Mejalli 
  Tel: (965) 242-4151, Fax: (965)244-7692 
 
Agricultural Trade Office (ATO-Regional) 
P.O. Box 9343 
Dubai, U.A.E. 
Tel: (971) (4) 314-063, Fax: (971) (4) 314-998 
 
 
AMCHAM and/or Bilateral Business Councils 
 
American Business Council-Kuwait 
Contact:  Mr. Bill Ennenbach 
Title:  President 
P.O. Box 29992, Safat 
13159 Kuwait 
Tel: (965) 243-0718 
Fax: (965) 240-9450 
 
National U.S.-Arab Chamber of Commerce 
Contact:  Mr. Richard P. Holmes 
Title:  President 
1100 New York Avenue, N.W. 
East Tower, Suite 550 
Washington, D.C.  20005 
Tel:  (202) 289-5920 
Fax:  (202) 289-5938 
 
Middle East Policy Council 
Contact:  Mr. George McGovern 
Title:  President 
1730 M Street, N.W. 
Suite 512 
Washington, D.C.  20036 
Tel:  (202) 296-6767 
Fax:  (202) 296-5791 
 
National Council on U.S.-Arab Relations 
Contact:  Dr. John Duke Anthony 
Title:  President and Chief Executive Officer 
1140 Connecticut Avenue, N.W. 
Washington, D.C.  20006 
Tel:  (202) 293-0801 
Fax:  (202) 293-0903 
 
 
Country Trade or Industry Associations in Key Sectors 
 
The Kuwait Chamber of Commerce and Industry 
represents all businesses in Kuwait. 
Contact:  Mr. Ahmad R. Al Haroun 
Title:  Director General 
P.O. Box 775 Safat 
13008 Kuwait 
Tel:  (965) 243-5801 
Fax:  (965) 240-4110 
 
The Public Authority for Agricultural Affairs and Fish Resources 
Contact:  Mr. Fahed Al-Hasawi 
Title:  Chairman of the Board and Director General 
P.O. Box 21422, Safat 
13075 Kuwait 
Tel:  (965) 476-1116/7 
Fax:  (965) 476-5551 
 
 
Country Government Offices Relating to Key Sectors and/or Significant 
Trade-related Activities 
 
Crown Prince and Prime Minister: 
Shaikh Saad Al-Abdulla Al-Salem Al-Sabah 
Thru:  Shaikh Faisal H. Al Sabah, PR Director 
P.O. Box 4, Safat 
13001 Kuwait 
Tel:  (965) 539-0211 
Fax:  (965) 539-4060 
 
First Deputy Prime Minister/Minister of Foreign Affairs 
Shaikh Sabah Al Ahmad J. Al Sabah 
Thru:  Amb. Ahmad Al Fahed, Director 
P.O. Box 3, Safat 
13001 Kuwait 
Tel:  (965) 244-8098/6 
Fax:  (965) 243-0559 
 
2nd Deputy Prime Minister/Minister of Finance 
Mr. Nasser Abdullah Al-Roudhan 
Thru:  Mr. Fahed Al-Oudeh, Office Director 
P.O. Box 9, Safat 
13001 Kuwait 
Tel:  (965) 241-0513  
Fax:  (965) 243-4862 
 
Minister of State for Cabinet Affairs 
Mr. Abdulaziz Al-Dakheel 
Thru:  Mr. Abdullah Al Aslawy, Office Director 
P.O. Box 1397, Safat 
13014 Kuwait 
Tel:  (965) 245-5118 
Fax:  (965) 242-0931 
 
Ministry of Awkaf & Islamic Affairs 
Minister:  Dr. Ali F. Al-Zumai 
Thru:  Mr. Abu Baker Al-Maghrebi, Secretary 
P.O. Box 13, Safat 
13001 Kuwait 
Tel:  (965) 245-8268 
Fax:  (965) 242-3705 
 
Ministry of Commerce and Industry 
Minister:  Mr. Helal Mishari Al-Mutairi 
Thru:  Miss Shaikha Al Jassim, Office Director 
P.O. Box 2944, Safat 
13030 Kuwait 
Tel:  (965) 246-9131 
Fax:  (965) 242-1826 
 
Ministry of Communications 
Minister:  Mr. Jassim Mohammed Al-Aun 
Thru Ms. Eman Al-Gallaf, Office Director 
Tel:  (965) 484-0606 
Fax:  (965) 483-7610 
 
Ministry of Defense 
Minister:  Shaikh Ahmed Al-Homoud Al-Sabah 
Thru:  BG Yacoub Al-Sewaiti, Office Director 
P.O. Box 1170, Safat 
13012 Kuwait 
Tel:  (965) 483-1570 
Fax:  (965) 483-7601 
 
Ministry of Education 
Minister:  Dr. Ahmed Al Rubei 
Thru:  Mr. Abdullah Rashed Suleiman, Office Director 
P.O. Box 7, Safat 
13001 Kuwait 
Tel:  (965) 483-7890 
Fax:  (965) 483-7601 
 
Ministry of Electricity & Water 
Minister:  Mr. Jassim Mohammed Al-Aun 
Thru:  Mr. Waleed Al Saleem, Office Director 
P.O. Box 12, Safat 
13001 Kuwait 
Tel:  (965) 488-2991 
Fax:  (965) 488-5710 
 
Ministry of Higher Education 
Minister:  Dr. Ahmed Al Rubei 
P.O. Box 27130, Safat 
13132 Kuwait 
Tel:  (965) 246-3999 
Fax:  (965) 246-5000 
 
Ministry of Housing 
Minister:  Mr. Habib Jowhar Hayat 
Thru:  Salim Al-Enizi, Office Director 
P.O. Box 8, Safat 
13001 Kuwait 
Tel:  (965) 245-7335 
Fax:  N/A 
 
Ministry of Information 
Minister:  Shaikh Saud Nasser Al Sabah 
Thru:  Mr. Turki Al-Thaydi, Office Director 
P.O. Box 193, Safat 
13002 Kuwait 
Tel:  (965) 245-1566 
Fax:  (965) 245-9530 
 
Ministry of Interior 
Minister:  Shaikh Ali Sabah Al-Salem Al-Sabah 
Thru:  LtC Bashir Al Enizi, Office Director 
P.O. Box 11, Safat 
13001 Kuwait 
Tel:  (965) 242-4007 
Fax:  (965) 243-5771 
 
Ministry of Justice & Administrative Affairs 
Minister:  Mr. Mishari Al Anjari 
Thru:  Mr. Falah Ajeel Al-Helfi, Office Director 
P.O. Box 6, Safat 
13001 Kuwait 
Tel:  (965) 246-5677 
Fax:  (965) 240-1556 
 
Ministry of Oil 
Minister:  Dr. Abdul Mohsen Al-Medij 
Thru:  Mr. Suhail Al Mutairi, Office Director 
P.O. Box 5077, Safat 
13051 Kuwait 
Tel:  (965) 245-4545 
Fax:  (965) 241-0521 
 
Ministry of Planning 
Minister:  Mr. Abdul Aziz Al-Dakheel 
Thru:  Mr. Mohammad Belal, Office Director 
P.O. Box 15, Safat 
13001 Kuwait 
Tel:  (965) 242-6077 
Fax:  (965) 240-6984 
 
Ministry of Public Health 
Minister:  Dr. Abdulrahman Al-Mehailan 
Thru Mr. Wugayan Al Wugayan, Office Director 
P.O. Box 5, Safat 
13001 Kuwait 
Tel:  (965) 242-2131 
Fax:  (965) 241-9678 
 
Minister of Public Works 
Minister:  Mr. Habib Jowhar Hayat 
Thru:  Mr. Mishal Al-Hebaishi, Office Director 
P.O. Box 8, Safat 
13001 Kuwait 
Tel:  (965) 244-9300 
Fax:  (965) 242-4335 
 
Ministry of Social Affairs & Labor 
Minister:  Mr. Ahmed Khalid Al-Kulaib 
Thru:  Mr. Fawaz H. Al-Sammar, Office Director 
P.O. Box 563, Safat 
13006 Kuwait 
Tel:  (965) 244-5554 
Fax:  (965) 240-7465 
 
Kuwait Municipality 
Contact:  Abdel Rahman Al-Duaij 
Title:  Director General 
P.O. Box 10, Safat 
13001 Kuwait 
Tel:  (965) 244-9001 
Fax:  (965) 242-0386 
 
Embassy of Kuwait in the United States 
2940 Tilden Street, N.W. 
Washington, D.C.  20008 
Tel:  (202) 966-0702 
Fax:  (202) 966-0517 
 
Consulate of Kuwait 
321 E. 44th Street 
New York, NY  10017 
Tel:  (212) 973-4300 
Fax:  (212) 966-0517 
 
 
Country Market Research Firms: 
 
Amar Consulting 
Contact:  Mr. Dudley Smith 
Title:  Partner 
P.O. Box 711 Safat 
13008 Kuwait 
Tel:  (965) 246-3506 
Fax:  (965) 246-3507 
 
Focus Marketing Consultancy Ltd. 
Contact:  Dr. Camille Gedeon 
Title:  Managing Partner 
P.O. Box 29359 Safat 
Kuwait 
Tel:  (965) 481-7707 
Fax:  (965) 481-7797 
 
Al-Shall Economic Consultants 
Contact:  Mr. Jassim Al-Sadoun 
Title:  Managing Director 
P.O. Box 5935 Safat 
13060 Kuwait 
Tel:  (965) 245-1535 
Fax:  (965) 242-2619 
 
 
Country Commercial Banks 
 
Al-Ahli Bank of Kuwait 
Contact:  Mr. Masoud Hayat 
Title:  Acting General Manager 
P.O. Box 1387 Safat 
13014 Kuwait 
Tel:  (965) 240-0900 
Fax:  (965) 242-4557 
 
Bank of Bahrain and Kuwait 
Contact:  Mr. Rashid A. Al-Zayani 
Title:  Chairman 
2P.O. Box 24396 Safat 
13104 Kuwait 
Tel:  (965) 241-7140 
Fax:  (965) 244-0937 
 
Bank of Kuwait and the Middle East 
Contact:  Ali Abdul Rahman Al-Rasheed Al-Bader 
Title: Managing Director 
P.O. Box 71 Safat 
13001 Kuwait 
Tel:  (965) 245-9771 
Fax:  (965) 246-1430 
 
Burgan Bank 
Contact:  Sheikh Ahmed A. Al-Sabah 
Title:  Chairman and Managing Director 
P.O. Box 5389 Safat 
13054 Kuwait 
Tel:  (965) 243-9000 
Fax:  (965) 246-2516 
 
Commercial Bank of Kuwait 
Contact:  Mohamad A. Al-Yahya 
Title:  Chief General Manager 
P.O. Box 2861 Safat 
13029 Kuwait 
Tel:  (965) 241-1001 
Fax:  (965) 245-0150 
 
Industrial Bank of Kuwait 
Contact:  Mr. Saleh M. Al Yousef 
Title:  Chairman and Managing Director 
P.O. Box 3146 Safat 
13032 Kuwait 
Tel:  (965) 245-7661 
Fax:  (965) 246-2057 
 
Kuwait Finance House 
Contact:  Mr. Bader A. Al-Mukhazeem 
Title:  Managing Director 
P.O. Box 24989 Safat 
13110 Kuwait 
Tel:  (965) 244-5050 
Fax:  (965) 240-9414 
 
Kuwait Real Estate Bank 
Contact:  Mr. Mohamed A. Al-Farhan 
Title:  General Manager 
P.O. Box 22822 Safat 
13089 Kuwait 
Tel:  (965) 245-8177 
Fax:  (965) 246-2516 
 
National Bank of Kuwait 
Contact:  Ibrahim Dabdoub 
Title:  Chief General Manager 
P.O. Box 95 Safat 
13001 Kuwait 
Tel:  (965) 242-2011 
Fax:  (965) 245-9032 
 
The Gulf Bank 
Contact:  Mr. John Harris 
Title:  Chief Executive Officer 
P.O. Box 3200 Safat 
13032 Kuwait 
Tel:  (965) 244-9501 
Fax:  (965) 244-5212 
 
 
Washington-based U.S. Government Country Contacts 
 
Kuwait Desk Officer - Corey Wright 
U.S. Department of Commerce 
14th & Constitution Ave., N.W. 
Washington, D.C.  20230 
Tel:  (202) 482-5506 
Fax:  (202) 482-0878 
 
US&FCS Regional Director -  Benjamin Brown 
U.S. Department of Commerce 
14th & Constitution Ave., N.W. 
Washington, D.C.  20230 
Tel:  (202) 482-4836 
Fax:  (202) 482-5179 
 
Public Affairs Office 
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers 
Middle East Division 
P.O. Box 2250 
Winchester, VA  22601-1450 
 
TPCC Trade Information Center 
Tel: 1-800-USA-TRADE 
 
U.S. Department of Agriculture 
Foreign Agricultural Service 
Trade Assistance and Promotion Office 
Tel: 202-720-7420 
 
 
Appendix F:  Market Research 
 
1.    List of Key Publications: 
   
  Industry Sector Analyses (ISA's) available in FY 1995: 
 
  - Building Products 
  - Safety and Security Equipment 
  - Telecommunications Services 
  - Pollution Control Equipment 
  - Maternity and Nursery Products 
  - Laboratory Instruments 
  - Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Equipment - Construction Services 
 
 
  Upcoming ISA's in FY 1996: 
 
  ITA                  Expected date of 
  Code    Sector            Completion 
 
  FUR    Furniture            12/95 
  JLR    Jewelry               2/96 
  PAP    Paper/Paperboard      2/96 
  SPT    Sporting Goods/Recreational 
         Equipment             3/96 
  TOY    Toys/Games            4/96 
  PME    Plastics Production Machinery    5/96 
  CFE    Commercial Fishing Equipment    6/96 
  COS    Cosmetics/Toiletries      9/96 
 
 
  Note: US&FCS reports are available on the National Trade Data 
           Bank 
 
2.    List of Agricultural Reports 
  - Annual Marketing Plan 
  - Annual Poultry Meat Report 
  - Monthly ATO Activities Reports 
  - Directory of U.S. Food Company Representatives in the GCC 
  - Guide for Doing Business in the GCC 
  - Update on U.S. Agricultural Exports to the GCC 
  - GCC Food Shelf Life Standards 
  - GCC Food Regulations:  Salmonella 
  - Weekly Poultry and Egg Price Report 
  - Foreign Buyers List 
 
  Note: Agricultural reports are available from the Reports Office, 
USDA/FAS, Washington, D.C. 20250 
 
 
Appendix G:  Trade Event Schedule 
 
1.  Event:  MegaShow (International Buyer Program) 
       (Food & Dairy EXPO and International Exposition for 
       Food Processors) 
  Sector:  FPP 
  Date:  November 4-7, 1995 
  Location:  Chicago, Illinois 
  USG involvement in recruiting/promoting:  Yes 
 
2.  Event: 18th World Energy Engineering Congress 
      (International Buyer Program) 
  Sectors:  ELP 
  Date:  November 8-10, 1995 
  Location:  Atlanta, Georgia 
  USG involvement in recruiting/promoting:  Yes 
 
3.  Event:  New York Apparel Trade Mission  
  Sector:  APP 
  Date:  December 1995 
  Location:  Kuwait City, Kuwait 
  USG involvement in recruiting/promoting:  Yes 
 
4.  Event:  MEFEX '96 Food Exhibition (for the GCC Region) 
  Sector:  FOD 
  Date:  January 1996 
  Location:  Manama, Bahrain 
  USG involvement in recruiting/promoting:  Yes 
 
5.  Name of event:  Air Conditioning and Heating Show 
         (International Buyer Program) 
  Sector:  ACR 
  Date:  January 1996 
  Location:  USA 
  USG involvement in recruiting/promoting:  Yes 
 
6.  Event:  American International Toy Fair 
       (International Buyer Program) 
  Sector:  TOY 
  Date:  February 16-19, 1996 
  Location:  New York, New York 
  USG involvement:  Yes 
 
7.  Event:  Midwestern Medical Equipment Trade Mission 
  Sector:  MED 
  Date:  February 1996 
  Location:  Kuwait City, Kuwait 
  USG involvement in recruiting/promoting:  Yes 
 
8.  Event:  International Franchise Expo 
       (International Buyer Program) 
  Sector:  FRA 
  Date:  March 8-10 1996 
  Location:  Washington, D.C. 
  USG involvement in recruiting/promoting:  Yes 
 
9.  Event:  In-store Promotion of U.S. Food Products 
  Sector:  FOD 
  Date:  April 1996 
  Location:  Kuwait City, Kuwait 
  USG involvement in recruiting/promoting:  Yes 
 
10.  Event:  Offshore Technology Conference 
       (International Buyer Program) 
  Sector:  OGM 
  Date:  May 6-9, 1996 
  Location:  Houston, TX 
  USG involvement in recruiting/promoting:  Yes 
 
11.  Event:  Automotive Spare Parts Trade Mission 
  Sector:  APS 
  Date:  May 1996 
  Location:  Kuwait City, Kuwait 
  USG involvement in recruiting/promoting:  Yes 
 
 
Note:  Because trade event schedules may change, firms should consult 
the US&FCS Export Promotion Calendar on the NTDB or contact US&FCS 
Kuwait for the latest information. 
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