Oil products comprise 95% of Kuwait’s exports goods. Remaining exports include chemicals, metals and other manufactured goods. Kuwait initiated the Kuwait Development Plan in 2010 to diversify Kuwait’s non-oil economy significantly by 2035, but much of that work have been stalled due to political conflicts between the government and the National Assembly. The plans include an airport expansion, water and power plant, seaport upgrades, a rail system, several hospitals, roads, bridges and a city development. Telecommunications are highly competitive in Kuwait, with a penetration rate of about 130%. In anticipation of the KDP moving forward and upon news of government surpluses, the Kuwait Stock Exchange grew 24.15% in 2013 after four years of negative growth. Financial services and real estate businesses comprise the largest sectors on the stock exchange, about 43% of all listed companies. The Kuwait Investment Authority ranks as the 6th largest sovereign wealth fund in the world with estimated assets of $410 billion as of January 2014 and is the largest foreign investor in China’s yuan currency. The KIA has allocated about one-quarter of its assets to high growth emerging markets including China, India and Turkey.
Kuwait’s overall doing business ranking (ranked 152 out of 189 economies) declined 9 ranks in 2014. This is due to worsening processes for obtaining a construction permit (133), obtaining credit (130) and registering property (90). The worst aspect of doing business in Kuwait is getting a construction permit and obtaining credit. Paying taxes is relatively easy in Kuwait (11) and Kuwait has a relatively good record of protecting investors (80).