|State of Kuwait|
|State and form of government||Constitutional monarchy|
|Head of state||
Nawaf al-Ahmad al-Jabir al-Sabah
|Head of government||
Sheikh Sabah Al-Khaled al-Hamad as-Sabah
|population||4.2 million ( 126th ) (2019)|
|Population density||232 inhabitants per km²|
|Population development||+ 1.7% (estimate for 2019)|
gross domestic product
|Human Development Index||0.806 ( 64th ) (2019)|
|currency||Kuwaiti Dinar (KWD)|
|independence||June 19, 1961
(from the UK )
|National anthem||An-Nashid al-Watani|
|National holiday||February 25 (Recapture of Kuwait in the Second Gulf War)|
|Time zone||UTC + 3|
|ISO 3166||KW , KWT, 414|
The emirate of Kuwait ([ kuˈva͜it ], also [ ˈkuːva͜it ], Arabic الكويت, DMG al-Kuwait , German also: Kuwait ) is a state in Western Asia on the Arabian Peninsula . It borders Iraq to the north and west (240 kilometers shared border), Saudi Arabia to the south (222 kilometers) and the Persian Gulf (499 kilometers) to the east . Over 70% of the entire population lives in the city of the same name, Kuwait .
Most of the country belongs to the desert of ad-Dibdiba. Apart from the coastal strip of heights of the Zaur Mountains on the Bay of Kuwait and isolated hills, the terrain is almost flat. Inside there are some oases . The 40 kilometer long Kuwait Bay divides the coast into two parts. The alluvial deposits stretch north to the Shatt al-Arab . At the southern tip of the bay is the capital with its protected natural harbor. To the south of it are the large oil fields that are connected to the Saudi deposits. The land rises gradually to the southwest. The highest point (290 meters) is in the sandstone plateau at the western tip of the national territory. The western border with Iraq stretches along the Wadi al-Batin, a dry river valley that only carries water at times. Kuwait has nine islands. Bubiyan , the largest island, is connected to the mainland by a 2,400-meter-long bridge. After the liberation in 1991, the island was converted into a military base. Civilians currently do not have access to Bubiyan. The remaining eight islands are called: Auha , Failaka , Kubbar , Miskan , Qaruh , Umm al-Maradim , Umm an-Namil and Warba .
Kuwait wants to build the planned city of Madinat al-Hareer (City of Silk) for 700,000 inhabitants on an area of 250 square kilometers on the southern tip of a peninsula about 30 kilometers north of the city center of Kuwait . The 1001 meter high Burj Mubarak al-Kabir skyscraper is to be the spectacular center of the urbanization, which is loosened up by many bodies of water ; Kuhne & Associates took over the planning, the city should be completed by 2030.
Apart from a few oases in which date palms thrive, the country is desert with no significant animal life and only sparse shrub vegetation. Grass only grows for a short time after the winter rains. The rich fishing grounds and crab beds in the coastal waters were threatened by the oil spill in the early 1990s .
In the hot season (May to September) average temperatures are around 30 ° C; however, it can reach temperatures of up to 50 ° C. In the winter months, on the other hand, it is milder (13 to 15 ° C), during the day up to 25 ° C, at night down to below 0 ° C. During this time, the meager rainfall of 10 to 220 millimeters per year also falls. The water temperatures in the bay are around 30 ° C in summer and 20 ° C in winter.
Average monthly temperatures and rainfall for Kuwait
Source: Kuwait Meteorological Service
The population structure of Kuwait is characterized by the very high proportion of foreign workers and their relatives (around 60% of all residents). At 57%, the proportion of men considerably exceeds that of women; 24.5% of the population was under 15 years old in 2004. Kuwait is one of the countries with the highest degree of urbanization (2004: 96%); life expectancy in 2016 was 78 years. Population growth averaged 4.1% between 1994 and 2004. The official language is Arabic , the common language among the Kuwaitis is Iraqi-Arabic . The commercial language is English .
Population development since 1950
Of the approximately 4.2 million inhabitants, only about 33% are Kuwait. 150,000 to 180,000 Bedouins and the rest of the population who immigrated from Iran , India , Pakistan , and many other - mainly Arab and Southeast Asian - countries do not have Kuwaiti citizenship. The Bedouins and the immigrants are socially disadvantaged compared to the citizens. In 2017, the proportion of migrants rose to 75.5% of the population, making it one of the highest in the world. The most common countries of origin were India (1,160,000 people), Egypt (420,000) and Bangladesh (380,000).
Citizens are covered by a comprehensive social security system ; the free health system is considered to be one of the best in the world. There is general compulsory schooling for 6 to 14 year olds with free lessons. The illiteracy rate is falling (1980: 40%, 2015: 3.7%). The first of the country's two universities was founded in 1954.
The high prevalence of obesity is considered a major health problem in Kuwait. In 2016, 73.4% of the adult population were overweight and 37.9% were obese . Both are only surpassed by a few small Pacific islands worldwide. The reasons are the increasing spread of western eating habits ( fast food ) and too little exercise due to the hot climate almost all year round.
The population is predominantly Muslim , of which 65% are Sunnis and 35% Shiites . Islam is the state religion . The Roman Catholic Church belong to 6% of the population. The remaining 9% mainly include other Christian denominations, Hindus and Parsees .
Until 1991 Kuwait was an absolute monarchy under the rule of the as-Sabah family.
According to the constitution of 1962, last amended in 1997, Kuwait is now a constitutional hereditary monarchy . The emir is both secular and spiritual head of state. He appoints and dismisses the government and can also dissolve parliament. The legal system is based on Islamic law ( Sharia ) and on British models.
A parliament (national assembly) was only formed between 1991 and 1996 . The parliament consists of 50 members who are elected every four years. All Kuwait citizens aged 21 and over are eligible to vote, with the exception of members of the military and security forces. The government relies on a certain amount of trust in parliament.
|Name of the index||Index value||Worldwide rank||Interpretation aid||year|
|Fragile States Index||50.9 out of 120||131 of 178||Stability of the country: stable
0 = very sustainable / 120 = very alarming
|Democracy index||3.8 out of 10||114 of 167||Authoritarian regime
0 = authoritarian regime / 10 = complete democracy
|Freedom in the World Index||36 of 100||-||Freedom status: partially free
0 = not free / 100 = free
|Freedom of the press ranking||34.36 out of 100||105 of 180||Recognizable problems for the freedom of the press
0 = good situation / 100 = very serious situation
|Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI)||42 out of 100||78 of 180||0 = very corrupt / 100 = very clean||2020|
On January 15, 2006, at the age of 77, Emir Jabir al-Ahmad al-Jabir al-Jabir al-Sabah died , who had been unable to fulfill his official duties for several years after a stroke . In accordance with the constitution, the 76-year-old Crown Prince Sheikh Sa'ad al-Abdallah as-Salim as-Sabah , a cousin of the deceased, was proclaimed the new emir by the government. Since his health was also badly damaged, the majority of the ruling family had suggested that Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad al-Jabir al-Sabah , a half-brother of the late Emir, should take over rule. Sa'ad was even too weak to take his oath of office in front of parliament. At the request of the government, the parliament met on January 24, 2006 and decided by consensus to remove Sheikh Sa'ad from his office. On January 29, Sheikh Sabah was confirmed by parliament as an emir and took his oath of office. This process was a breach of the previous custom in the as-Sabah dynasty, that the office should change between the two branches (al-Jabir and as-Salim) of the ruling family.
In addition, the removal of an incapacitated ruler by parliament was a novelty not only in the history of Kuwait, but in the entire Gulf region. On February 20, parliament confirmed the emir's cabinet. This then dissolved the parliament on May 21st and set new elections for June 29th. This step was preceded by a violent dispute between the government and parliament over the reallocation of the constituencies. A group of opposition MPs opposed the government's proposed reduction in constituencies from 25 to 10 and instead proposed a reduction to just five. This was intended to reduce the preference given to certain parts of the population, which had arisen from the disproportion between the number of residents and the number of MPs per constituency. But neither the government's proposal nor that of the opposition found the necessary majority in parliament, so the government asked the emir to dissolve it.
Such a precedent , which would have diminished the primacy of the ruling house over parliamentarians, was definitely to be avoided. In the elections, the opposition forces succeeded in increasing the number of their seats from 26 to 33 in the 50-seat chamber. Of these, around 15 are attributed to Islamists , seven are considered liberals , and ten are reformists . 17 MPs are considered loyal to the government . Since the cabinet members are entitled to vote in parliament, the balance of power there is more favorable for the government than it would seem at first glance. On May 16, 2005, Parliament passed a vote of 35:23, with one abstention that women should be given the right to vote and stand for election. "I want our women to help us build our country and our future," said Prime Minister Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad as-Sabah. In the elections in June 2006 none of the 28 female candidates entered parliament, although women make up 57 percent of the electorate.
In the following parliamentary elections in May 2009, four women finally entered parliament.
On September 29, 2020, Emir Sabah al-Ahmad al-Jabir as-Sabah died at the age of 91 and his half-brother Nawaf al-Ahmad al-Jabir as-Sabah was sworn in as an emir on September 30, 2020 .
The country's foreign policy is determined by the history and geopolitical location of the country between Saudi Arabia, Iraq and Iran. A close security partnership exists with the United States , which acts as a guarantor of Kuwait's state independence. In 2004 Kuwait was named a major non-NATO ally .
Diplomatic relations with northern neighbor Iraq were resumed on August 2, 2004; in July 2008, Kuwait sent an ambassador to Baghdad for the first time since 1990 , and the Iraqi ambassador began work in March 2010. The relationship between the two countries remains strained, however, the main reasons for this being the outstanding Iraqi reparations payments of 23.3 billion US dollars and the border line established by the United Nations . Saddam Hussein recognized this in 1994, but the new government did not reaffirm it.
Expression and freedom of assembly and the press
Freedom of expression and assembly are severely restricted in Kuwait , according to Amnesty International . Thousands of stateless Bidun resident in Kuwait are particularly hard hit . They do not receive citizenship and therefore do not have equal access to the health and education system and the labor market. The riot police sometimes use excessive force against this minority.
The press freedom situation in the country has "identifiable problems" according to the non-governmental organization Reporters Without Borders , but it is the third best among the countries of the Arab League . A journalist is in custody in Kuwait.
Since 2014, the Kuwaiti Ministry of Information has banned thousands of books, including numerous classics of world literature such as The Hunchback of Notre-Dame , One Hundred Years of Solitude and The Karamazov Brothers .
According to Amnesty, women are discriminated against in law and in everyday life. In 2011, law graduates filed suits against the Ministry of Justice for recruitment. The ministry had advertised positions stating that they were reserved for men. In September 2012, the Supreme Judicial Council announced that women could apply for a range of positions in the Kuwaiti Prosecutor's Office and in the judiciary, responding to the women's pending lawsuits.
Kuwait is a constitutional monarchy. Male Kuwait people have had the right to vote since 1999. In May 1999, the Emir Jabir al-Ahmad al-Jabir al-Sabah issued a decree guaranteeing women's suffrage , but the National Assembly refused to approve it, so the decree was dropped in November. An active women's movement built on the emir's attitude and advocated women's suffrage ; these were not protests, but rather expressions of loyalty to the ruler who had spoken out in favor of women's suffrage. Technical developments created new possibilities for mobilization: In 2005, the economist Rola Dashti organized protest actions by girls on the streets via mobile phone, to whom she called on the mobile phone.
On May 16, 2005, women received the general active and passive national right to vote by a parliamentary resolution with 35 to 23 votes. As an ambiguous concession to the fundamentalists, the formulation that women had to comply with Islamic laws during the election campaign and election was included. In the election that followed the granting of the right to vote, not a single candidate was elected to parliament. Two women were appointed to the government, which has 16 members, and were thereby entitled to vote in parliament. In 2005/2006 laws came into force that restricted freedom of speech and the freedom of the media to criticize the government. In 2009 Dashti and two other women were the first to be elected to parliament. Dashti became Minister for State Planning and Development Issues in 2012.
In the current government (January 2019) two of the fifteen members are women. Among the fifty MPs (after the November 26, 2016 election) there is only one woman (January 2019).
Rule of law and the death penalty
Kuwait imposes the death penalty . However, of nine death sentences passed in 2012, four were commuted to prison terms. At least one detainee died in custody in 2012 after appearing to have been tortured and otherwise ill-treated. Death sentences are tried in an appeals court and then submitted to the Supreme Court before the emir can rule on the sentences. In the event that the judgment is approved and the judgment is not converted into a life sentence , the judgment is no longer negotiable and is therefore legally binding. People who are not sane and under the age of 18 are not sentenced to death. But foreigners and women can also be executed. The death penalty is mandatory for crimes such as murder , rape , drug trafficking , terrorism or kidnapping . However, the death penalty was temporarily suspended in 2007. In 2013, for the first time since 2007, the state of Kuwait executed five murderers. Thereafter, a total of seven people were executed in January 2017, along with a member of the Kuwaiti royal family. In Kuwait executions are publicly by the train enforced .
The situation of migrant workers from Asia in particular is inadequate in Kuwait. There are repeated attacks on female domestic helpers in Kuwait. Some of them are beaten, psychologically terrorized or sexually abused by their Kuwaiti employers. In 2011 and 2012, the Philippines, Nepal and Indonesia banned their citizens from being recruited by Kuwait and other Arab states. According to the US State Department , mistreatment of domestic helpers is so widespread in Kuwait that it constitutes human trafficking .
The UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination recommended that Kuwait enact laws in 2012 to protect foreign workers and domestic workers and ensure their rights in accordance with international standards. Kuwait is a member of the International Labor Organization (ILO) but does not comply with its conventions.
Kuwait spent almost 5.8 percent of its economic output or 6.8 billion US dollars on its armed forces in 2017. The defense spending as a proportion of economic output among the highest in the world.
The history of the desert state lies largely in the dark until the beginning of modern times . Archaeological finds suggest, however, that the island of Failaka dates back to the 3rd millennium BC. Was a trading post and from the 3rd century BC. Was in the sphere of influence of the Seleucid Empire . In the 3rd century AD, today's Kuwait was incorporated into the Persian Empire ; from 630 it belonged to the Umayyad Caliphate , later to the Abbasids, and was Islamized . In the middle of the 13th century the empire disintegrated after the Mongol invasion . Portuguese arrived in the region in the early 16th century .
In the same century, the area became a part of the Ottoman Empire that was hardly noticed because of its peripheral location . In 1756, the As-Sabah family, which is still ruling today, came to power from the interior of the Arabian Peninsula ; Kuwait became an increasingly independent sheikdom from the Ottomans . Due to its geopolitical location, the emirate gained a position in the Persian Gulf that was courted by the Ottomans and the British . When the threat from the Ottomans grew too great, Sheikh Mubarak as-Sabah placed his country under British protection in 1899. The price was the assurance that relations with other states would only be established with British approval. With this, London achieved that the German-Ottoman project of the Baghdad Railway, begun in 1903, could not be continued as far as the Gulf.
After the defeat of the Ottomans in World War I , the British declared Kuwait an independent emirate under British protection . From 1919 there were several campaigns by the Wahhabis against Kuwait, and there were always border conflicts with the Najd . The final boundaries were set in the Uqair Protocol on December 2, 1922 . In 1940, Saudi Arabia recognized Kuwait as an independent state. From 1922 onwards, the newly created neutral zone , which came into being at the instigation of the British, shielded the emirate from Saudi Arabia and Iraq. The first oil was found in 1938 , and from 1946 Kuwait developed into one of the largest oil producers in the Persian Gulf. Large parts of the enormous income were used for modernization, e.g. B. used to expand social facilities. In 1960 Kuwait was a founding member of OPEC .
The country gained independence on June 19, 1961. Territorial claims of neighboring Iraq led to the conclusion of a military agreement with Great Britain (terminated by Kuwait in 1971) and the introduction of general conscription in 1973 . Iraq did not recognize Kuwait's declaration of independence and declared the emirate a part of the Iraqi state. The Iraqi Prime Minister Abd al-Karim Qasim threatened to invade in the summer of 1961. In June the British ambassador to Iraq reported troop movements in the Basra region near Kuwait to London. He was expecting an offensive on July 14, the anniversary of the Iraqi revolution.
The British government had already decided on a plan for this case under the code name Operation Vantage the year before . It envisaged an intervention by the Middle East Command of the British armed forces from its bases in the Persian Gulf and in Kenya. The British government decided to launch the operation on June 29th. For the time being, this only meant that the US government asked for its consent and the British representative in Kuwait, Emir Abdullah III. sought out to persuade him to make an official request from British troops, which should secure the operation politically and diplomatically. When both inquiries were approved the following day, Operation Vantage was put into effect that evening. Within a few days, around 7,000 British soldiers were ready to fight in Kuwait. The Iraqi invasion then failed to materialize, but there were expressions of displeasure within Kuwait and in the Arab world, and later also on the part of the USA because of the presence of foreign troops. With the support of the British, Kuwait then joined the Arab League on July 20 and persuaded the organization to send a peacekeeping force to the country. The first Arab soldiers arrived in Kuwait in August, and the British withdrawal began on August 27 and was completed on October 10. However, in the autumn of 1961, the British government decided on a plan for the rapid military return to Kuwait under the name Operation Sodabread , which was implemented in the following months.
The inclusion of the emirate in the Arab League was under vigorous protest of Iraqis who until 1963 with the help of the Soviet Union a UN prevented -membership. Iraq did not recognize Kuwait until after Qasim was overthrown in 1963, and in the same year an agreement to normalize relations was signed. In 1966, 1969, 1973 and 1976 there were various border conflicts in which Iraqi troops occupied Kuwaiti territory , and in 1977 a new border agreement was signed between the two countries. From the beginning of the 1960s onwards, pan-Arab groups also gained strength in Kuwait . B. the Palestinians . Many of them were expelled. After the Six Day War in 1967, the emirate spent large sums of money in support of the Israeli war opponents Egypt and Jordan .
The Iran-Iraq war that broke out in 1980 increasingly threatened Kuwait's vital oil exports over time. After repeated Iranian air strikes on Kuwaiti ships, the country had its tankers "reflagged" in 1987: They sailed under the flag of the USA until the end of the First Gulf War , in which Kuwait supported Iraq and which is why the country was the target of several Iranian air strikes in October 1981 . In 1981 the country was a founding member of the Gulf Cooperation Council .
Second Gulf War
After a political dispute over an oil field on the Iraqi-Kuwait border, Iraqi troops marched into Kuwait on August 2, 1990. After the removal of the emir and the government, the Kuwaiti territory was annexed , despite the unanimous condemnation by the UN Security Council . The primary reason for the occupation of the oil-rich state was the conflict between the two states, caused by Iraq's high debt (80 billion US dollars) due to the First Gulf War. Initially, a puppet government was formed under Alaa Hussein Ali , but Kuwait was annexed by Iraq a few days later .
In response to the Iraqi occupation, the United Nations decided on an economic embargo against Iraq, which was reinforced by American naval units in particular by means of a naval blockade. Despite proposals for a solution from Iraq (for example the withdrawal from Kuwait and, in return, the resumption of negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians), the diplomatic path failed, whereupon it was decided on behalf of the UN to set up a multinational force and this was stationed in Saudi Arabia. When a UN ultimatum on the Iraqi withdrawal, limited to January 15, 1991, passed without result, Kuwait was liberated on February 27, 1991 in the course of the five-week Second Gulf War . After the Iraqis invaded Kuwait, there were numerous fatalities; the infrastructure and industrial potential of the emirate were largely destroyed. The extent of the environmental damage caused by the fires in the oil fields and the oil spill in the Gulf was limited in time. Iraq recognized the country's independence in November 1994. The Palestinian support for Iraq during the Second Gulf War resulted in the displacement of the Palestinians from Kuwait in 1991 . Within a few days, around 450,000 Palestinians were driven from Kuwait. The displacement, which was comparable to the Nakba but received much less attention, had considerable consequences for the PLO as well as for the population of Kuwait.
In 2003, Kuwait was the starting point for the US invasion of Iraq .
Kuwait, which is very financially strong due to its oil wealth (national reserves estimated at USD 550 billion), had profited considerably from high and stable oil prices in the 16 years before the oil price collapse. The country has oil reserves of 101.5 billion barrels of oil (= 8% of the world’s reserves), which will last for another 90 years at the current level of production. Kuwait plans to increase production capacity to 4 million barrels per day by 2020. In 2015, Kuwait ranked ninth in global oil production with a daily production of 2.85 million barrels of oil.
According to estimates by the International Monetary Fund, the gross domestic product (GDP) in 2016 was 33.5 billion Kuwaiti dinars (KWD, around 103 billion EUR); GDP per capita was estimated at around EUR 26,000. Given the large number (around 2.5 million) of low-income foreigners, the per capita income of Kuwaiti nationals is much higher. With a per capita gross domestic product adjusted for purchasing power of 66,000 US dollars, Kuwait is one of the 10 richest countries in the world.
The high income from the oil business is used for high expenditures to satisfy the demands of the Kuwaiti population for services of the welfare state. In addition, reserves can be created. Kuwait's sovereign wealth fund , the Kuwait Investment Authority, manages $ 592 billion in assets (as of 2018).
Due to the loss of income as a result of the lower oil price, the financial situation is now more tense than in the past. Even before the oil price fell, the IMF had pointed out that if the development remained unchanged, income would no longer cover expenditure in the near future. In the 2015/2016 financial year, income of KWD 12.2 billion (around EUR 37 billion) was set against expenditure of KWD 19.2 billion (around EUR 58 billion). At the end of the budget year (end of March 2016), a deficit of around 7 billion KWD (around 20 billion EUR) was recorded. From 2015 to 2017 the national debt rose from 5% to over 20%. The IMF expects economic output to rise to around 47% by 2023.
In the Global Competitiveness Index , which measures a country's competitiveness, Kuwait ranks 52nd out of 137 countries (as of 2017-2018). In 2018, the country was ranked 81st out of 180 countries assessed in the index for economic freedom .
All GDP values are given in US dollars ( purchasing power parity ).
(purchasing power parity)
|45.32 billion||45.49 billion||52.04 billion||94.48 billion||112.87 billion||187.25 billion||207.52 billion||225.81 billion||235.95 billion||220.92 billion||218.31 billion||247.18 billion||271.51 billion||276.91 billion||283.63 billion||283.83 billion||293.76 billion||291.48 billion|
GDP per capita
(purchasing power parity)
(as a percentage of GDP)
Natural resources, energy
The country's wealth is based on oil , which has been extracted since 1946. Kuwait is a member of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries ( OPEC ). 94 percent of the revenues are dependent on crude oil, of which around 2.6 million barrels are extracted every day . Much of this comes from the Burgan field, which is the second largest oil field in the world. The south of Kuwait lies in the northern part of the neutral zone, which has been divided between Kuwait and Saudi Arabia since 1969 . All costs and revenues from mineral resources in the entire former neutral zone, i.e. on both the Kuwaiti and the Saudi side, are shared equally with Saudi Arabia.
Around one million barrels are processed every day in the country's three refineries. On March 6, 2006, the government announced that significant new oil and gas reserves had been discovered in the north of the country . A total of one trillion cubic meters of gas is suspected in two reservoirs; in addition, new oil fields with resources between 10 and 13 billion barrels have been explored. This would make Kuwait a major natural gas producer for the first time and could also increase its oil reserves by ten percent. Kuwait is one of the countries that lie in the so-called strategic ellipse .
In December 2013 a program to expand the renewable energies wind energy and photovoltaics was announced. By 2030, they should cover 15% of the country's electricity needs. The aim is to preserve the crude oil primarily for lucrative export; the resource base is also to be diversified and climate-damaging greenhouse gas emissions are to be reduced. An alternative plan to get into nuclear power and build a nuclear power plant , however, was abandoned because wind and solar power are cheaper, according to the Ministry of Electricity.
In 2003, one percent of all employed persons were employed in agriculture . Agriculture is only expandable to a limited extent due to the climatic conditions, the nature of the soil and the lack of water. Only 0.2 percent of the state's area is currently cultivated using artificial irrigation. Dates , melons and fodder clover are grown for the domestic market . Mainly sheep , goats and cattle are kept for the meat supply .
In 2014, imports totaled 27.38 billion US dollars and came mainly from the USA (12.7%), also from China (11.9%), Saudi Arabia (7.1%), South Korea (6.9%) ), Japan (6.6%), Germany (4.8%) and India (4.2%). 42 percent of the goods were machines and transport equipment, 18 percent intermediate products, 14 percent finished products and 13 percent food.
The exports amounted to 103.4 billion in 2014 dollars, main customers were South Korea (16.7%), India (14.9%), Japan (12.3%), the USA (11.3%) and China (9, 9%). The most important export goods were crude oil and crude oil products with a share of over 90%.
Kuwait has dedicated itself to the medium and long-term restructuring of the economic structure since 2010 as part of the Kuwait Vision 2035 (since 2017 under the title “New Kuwait”) or in development plans that are valid for 4-5 years. With this, Kuwait wants to come closer to its declared goal of diversifying its economy and becoming the trade and financial center in the region. However, this is countered by weaknesses in the administration and slow decision-making processes as well as the structural conflict between government and parliament. The development plan for the years 2015-2020 has a volume of 34 billion KWD (> 100 billion EUR) and contains numerous long-discussed major projects, among others. from the areas of infrastructure, tourism, such as the construction of a subway and a railway, the expansion of the airport, power plants etc. Allocations were made in 2014 in the amount of 7.5 billion KWD (22.5 billion EUR), in 2015 in the amount of 12 Billion KWD (36 billion EUR). According to the government, there will be no cuts or postponements in the major projects included in the development plan, despite budget deficits.
Qatar and Saudi Arabia have submitted similar development plans.
The state budget included expenditures in 2016 of the equivalent of 65.3 billion US dollars , which were income equivalent to 47.1 billion US dollar against. This results in a budget deficit of 16.6% of GDP .
The national debt in 2016 was $ 20.2 billion, or 18.6% of GDP. Kuwaiti government bonds are rated AA by the rating agency Standard & Poor’s and are therefore only one grade behind the top rating (as of December 2018).
In 2006 the share of government expenditure (as a percentage of GDP) was in the following areas:
The very well developed road network covers around 3,600 kilometers. Kuwait has an industrial port and four oil ports. The international airport is close to the capital. With billions of dollars in revenue from the oil sector and encouraged by the overthrow of Saddam Hussein , the country has embarked on diversifying its economy. A modern container port is to be built and an island to be converted into a tourist complex.
There are plans to build a subway in Kuwait, the routes of which will be divided into four lines and will be 171 kilometers long. The annual passenger volume is estimated at 69.1 million passengers. The start of construction was planned for autumn 2011 and completion for spring 2016. In January 2020, no construction work had yet been carried out. The total costs are put at 11.3 billion US dollars, 24% of which will be raised by the Kuwaiti state, 26% by the contractor and the remaining 50% through an IPO . This approach is part of Kuwait's strategy of using private capital for innovations in public projects.
Kuwait subway suggestions:
- Line 1: length 23.7 km, 19 stations
- Line 2: length 21.0 km, 27 stations
- Line 3: length 24.0 km, 15 stations
- Line 4: length 22.7 km, 16 stations
In later expansion phases, line 1 is to be extended by 23.6 to 57.3 kilometers and line 2 by 16.4 to 37.4 kilometers.
There are also plans by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates to build an approximately 2000 kilometer long railway network in the Gulf region. Of this, around 505 kilometers of double-track line, electrified with 50 kV alternating current , would run in Kuwait.
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