Opportunities in Kuwait for Northern Ireland Companies

Invest Northern Ireland is taking a Trade Mission to Saudi Arabia and Kuwait 01 - 06 November.

The six day mission will focus on Jeddah and Kuwait City.

Export advice and guidance

Our expert Trade Team in Belfast will be on-hand with advice and guidance to help you prepare for the mission. We have also appointed an in-market trade advisory who can provide tailored market research and arrange individual appointments for your company. The cost of this service is heavily subsided by Invest NI.


Kuwait - Market

Kuwait has a predominantly oil based economy accounting for 6% of the worlds proven oil reserves. Its a founding member of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC). Kuwait is the fifth richest country in the world measured by Gross Domestic Product (GDP) per head.

Benefits for Northern Ireland businesses exporting to Kuwait include:

  • English widely spoken
  • No taxation on personal income
  • Growing diversification within the Kuwaiti economy
  • Earmarked government investment of £71 billion on infrastructure projects
  • Public Private Partnership (PPP) approach for infrastructure projects

Strengths of the Kuwaiti market include:

  • Free trade zone
  • Strategic location in close proximity to other Gulf markets
  • Friendly living environment for foreigners
  • More than half of Kuwait nationals are under 25
  • Moderate business costs


Kuwait offers opportunities, particularly in sectors such as:

  • Transport
  • Healthcare
  • Infrastructure
  • Defence
  • Security

Things to think about

  • Physical presence needed as long term relationships need to be formed
  • Restrictions on company ownership by non-Gulf Cooperation Council nationals
  • Identify suitable sponsors for initial entry into the market
  • Finding an appropriate Kuwaiti partner for joint ventures
  • Bureaucracy
  • Slow speed decision making
  • Tendering process can be difficult to navigate
  • Extremely hot weather in summer seasons slows down outdoor activity