Law 116 of 2013 for promoting investment in Kuwait will come into effect on schedule on 15 December and will create a new environment for local and foreign investment in the country, the MEED Investing in Kuwait workshop was told this morning.

“We are enthusiastic about the new law,” Kuwait Direct Investment Promotion Authority (KDIPA) director general Shaikh Meshaal Jaber Al Ahmad Al Sabah told the workshop. “This law will play a crucial role in promoting private investment in Kuwait.”

The law replaces a previous piece of legislation from 2001 which set up the Kuwait Foreign Investment Board (KFIB). It transfers all the powers and assets of the board to the KDPIA. The law also replaces the present positive list system, which limits possible foreign investment to specified sectors, with a negative list approach where the Kuwaiti economy will be open to foreign investment with the exception of specified areas.

The negative list will defined by Kuwait’s council of ministers, the workshop was told.

The law sets a maximum of 30 days for approving a licence application and establishes a one stop shop contact point for potential investors.

The workshop was told that a study about special economic zones has been commissioned by the KDIPA and will be completed in June 2014.