Recently, Kuwait has initiated some significant economic liberalization initiatives.

Kuwait’s National Assembly enacted major reforms to the Commercial Law and Public Tenders Law, effectively removing the longstanding requirement for foreign companies to operate through local agents within the country.

On July 16, 2023, the Financial and Economic Affairs Committee of the National Assembly approved a decision, allowing foreign companies to establish branches in Kuwait and conduct business without the need for a local agent.  This decision was ratified by the National Assembly on December 12, 2023, leading to substantial amendments in two key legal areas:

1. Public Tenders Law (Law No. 49 of 2016, Article 31): This amendment significantly alters the landscape of public tenders, which were previously dominated by local agents. Now, both Kuwaiti and foreign entities are on an equal footing, able to compete in the tendering process. This change fosters a more inclusive, competitive and transparent environment.

2. Commercial Law (Law No. 68 of 1980, Article 24): This reform allows foreign companies to establish branches and conduct their operations in Kuwait independently, without the need for a local agent. This amendment represents a major shift, enabling direct foreign investment and business activities in Kuwait.

The National Assembly’s reforms to enable independent operations of foreign companies are laudable and signify progressive steps toward global economic integration. They are expected to elevate service standards, intensify competition, and promote transparency, benefiting both businesses and consumers.

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