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Muslimtrade Network members
about Kuwait.

K  U  W  A  I  T 


1. GENERAL PRESENTATION : *  
1.1. General characteristics : *
1.2. General information : *
1.3. The legal framework of trade relationships : *

2. TRADE STRUCTURE : *  
2.1. The main exported products : *
2.2. The main imported products : *
2.3. Trading partners : *

3. FOREIGN TRADE CONTROL : *  
3.1. Imports regulations : *
3.2. Exports regulations : *
3.3. Other formalities and documents : *


4. FINANCIAL REGULATIONS OF FOREIGN TRADE OPERATION : *  
4.1. Banking system : *
4.2. Exchange system : *
4.3. Methods and means for international payment : *

5. CUSTOMS TAXATION : *  
5.1. Customs tariff : *
5.2. Special provisions : *

6. FOREIGN TRADE LOGISTIC : *  
6.1. International Transports : *
6.2. Telecommunication : *
6.3. Distribution System : *

7. USEFUL ADDRESSES *

1. GENERAL PRESENTATION : 

1.1. General characteristics : 

  

Official name State of Kuwait
Area 18,000 square kilometers
Population 1.5 million inhabitants in 1995
Density 83.3 inhabitants per square kilometer
Capital Kuwait city
Climate On the whole, the climate is dry in Kuwait, with a  very cold winter and a very hot summer ; rainfalls are relatively light over the whole territory.²
The main holidays January 1st, February 25th, Aid Al Fitr, Aid Al Adha, and Aid El Mouloud.

1.2. General information : 

Language  Arabic, English is also used in business relationships.
Currency  Kuwaiti Dinar
Local hour  GMT + 3 H.
Working hours Banks : 9 H to 11 H 30 and 16 H 30 to 18 H from Saturday to Wednesday. 

Public sector : From Saturday to Thursday from 8 H to 14 H.
Weekly day-off Friday.

1.3. The legal framework of trade relationships :

Kuwait is notably Member of the following international and regional organizations :

The World Trade Organization (WTO) ; 
The United Nations Organization and its main specialized institutions (World Bank, IMF, etc...) ; 
The Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) ; 
The Gulf Cooperation Council (G.C.C) ; 
Arab League. 

Kuwait has also signed numerous economic and commercial or technical cooperation agreements with most of its trading partners of Europe, Asia, Africa and America.

2. TRADE STRUCTURE : 

2.1. The main exported products : 
Crude oil ;  
Refined oil products ;  
Natural gas. 

2.2. The main imported products : 
Miscellaneous food products ;  
Building materials ;  
Textiles ;  
Miscellaneous capital goods. 

2.3. Trading partners :

Main customers

Main suppliers

Japan

United States of America

South Korea

Japan

India

United Arab Emirates

Taiwan

Germany

Philippines

England

Singapore

Saudi Arabia


3. FOREIGN TRADE CONTROL : 

Generally speaking, Kuwait practices a relatively liberal trade policy ; its market is open and foreign trade policies are flexible. 

3.1. Imports regulations : 

Kuwait practically imposes no quantitative restrictions in the field of international trade; a few products only are prohibited for imports on health, security and moral grounds. 

To be allowed to undertake international trade exchanges, importers must : 
On the one hand, have a Kuwaiti nationality, in other words, 51% at least of the capital of the importing company must be held by individuals of Kuwaiti nationality ; 
and to have themselves registered at the importers register. 

3.2. Exports regulations : 

Taking account of the products concerned exports are not submitted to any particular restriction. 

3.3. Other formalities and documents : 

Some food products imports are submitted to very strict provisions concerning, sales time limit and the marketing conditions in general ; 

In this event, a sanitary certificate is often required for customs clearance.

4. FINANCIAL REGULATIONS OF FOREIGN TRADE OPERATION : 

4.1. Banking system : 

The Kuwaiti Banking System is relatively of very large dimension comparatively with the country's area and the local population number. As a matter of fact owing especially financial resources yielded by oil, Kuwait owns a dozen commercial banks and a central bank entrusted with implementing the monetary policy of the country. 

4.2. Exchange system : 

The exchange regulations of Kuwait do not impose any particular restriction. At international level, provisions in this field allow both a free convertibility and a total transferability. 

4.3. Methods and means for international payment : 

Broadly speaking, Kuwaiti foreign trade operators are solvent and rarely have any disputes with their foreign partners 

The payment means that are most used in Kuwait is the irrevocable and confirmed documentary credit. The other payment means, such as documentary remittance or international transfer (Swift) are utilized only in the event of trustworthy relationships between seller and buyer.

5. CUSTOMS TAXATION : 

After its adhesion to the GATT and the inception of the Gulf Cooperation Council, Kuwait has considerably reduced its tariff barriers with the member Countries of these two organizations. 

5.1. Customs tariff : 

Imported good are in general submitted to a customs duty of 4%, calculated on coast insurance freight basis. However, some goods that are at the same time produced by local industries can be subjected to higher customs duties in keeping with tariff protection policy of domestic industries. 

5.2. Special provisions : 

Within the framework of the policy aiming at promoting the domestic market investments and supplies in raw materials and staple commodities, some equipment, spareparts, food products and raw materials are exempted from customs duties.

6. FOREIGN TRADE LOGISTIC : 

6.1. International Transports : 

Kuwait gives special attention to road infrastructure. 

As matter of fact, the road network plays a quasi-exclusive role in the field of goods transports between the main cities of the country : Kuwait, Jarha, Hawalli, All Ahmadi and Farawania. 

In the area of maritime transport, Kuwait is provided with three large trading ports which play a pivotal role in foreign trade operation, these are : Shuwaikh, Shuaiba and Doha. 

Kuwait is also provided with a relatively important merchant fleet : 88 ships, 50 of which are national. In addition to oil ships, Kuwait is also endowed with numerous container ships. 

As concerns air transport, the major part of air traffic is ensured by Kuwait International airport. 

6.2. Telecommunication : 

Kuwait is provided with a performing and modern communications network ; automatic telephone, telex, mobile telecommunications etc... At international level Kuwait has direct links with its trading partners of Europe, Africa, Asia and America.. 

6.3. Distribution System : 

In Kuwait, foreign products distribution can be carried out : 

Either by direct sales to domestic traders ; but from some goods, such as food products, it is almost impossible to sell them without resorting to local middlemen ;

Or through distribution agents who may be : either a commission agent who will play the role of a middleman or importing agents working on their own account. These agents will then undertake the distribution to shops, supermarkets and to big retail cooperative companies.

On the whole, Kuwait owns twenty import-Export companies.

7. USEFUL ADDRESSES  

Public establishment & organizations

ADDRESS

PHONE / FAX

Ministry of economy and Finances P.O. Box 9 - Safat - 130001 Kuwait

Tel : (965) 2463600 

Fax : 2434862 

Tlx : 246203

Ministry of Information P.O. Box 193 - Safat - 13002 Kuwait

Tel : 2431682 

Fax : 2464460  

Tlx : 46151

Ministry of Commerce & Industry P.O. Box 2944 - Safat - 13030 Kuwait

Tel : 2463600 

Fax : 2411089 

Tlx : 22682

Central Bank of Kuwait P.O. Box 526 - Safat - 13006 Kuwait Fax : 2402715
Chamber of Commerce & Industry P.O. Box 775 - Safat - 13008 Kuwait

Tel : 2433854 

Fax : 240732 

Tlx : 22198



 
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