US IT giant IBM will be the first company to invest in Kuwait under a 2013 law that allows 100 per cent ownership of projects.

The Kuwait Direct Investment Promotion Authority (KDIPA) granted the first approval in late January, after opening for business on 29 December 2014.

The approval came well within KDIPA’s 30-day time limit for granting approval, and the new body appears to be functioning smoothly.

IBM must now work with the Commerce & Industry Ministry to establish a company in Kuwait, before receiving a licence from KDIPA.

KDIPA will eventually bring key stakeholders from the ministry in-house to create a one stop shop where investors can obtain licenses and incorporate investment vehicles.

IBM declined to comment on the project, which will be in the IT sector and involve training.

A second project, in the IT and telecoms sectors, is in the final stages of acquiring approval from KDIPA.

A list of sectors excluded from 100 per cent foreign ownership, including oil and gas extraction and real estate, was approved in early February.