Kuwait to implement largest government restructuring in its history as of 2022

Kuwait to implement largest government restructuring in its history as of 2022
Building of the National Assembly of Kuwait (Shutterstock)
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Updated 20 September 2021

Kuwait to implement largest government restructuring in its history as of 2022

Kuwait to implement largest government restructuring in its history as of 2022

Kuwait plans to merge ministries, abolish others and create new strategies as part of the largest restructuring roadmap in its history over the next four years, Al Qabs reported.

Beginning in 2022, the ministries of electricity, water and oil will come together under one umbrella called the 'Ministry of Energy', while a 'Ministry of Economy and Trade' will also be created.

This department will be responsible for managing economic development, take responsibility for the national strategy for privatization, and manage the Public-Private Partnership (PPP) Authority.

The plan also includes transferring the affiliation of Kuwait Direct Investment Promotion Authority (KDIPA) to the Ministry of Economy and Trade at the beginning of 2023, and developing strategies for a free economic zone and export promotion.

Kuwait's roadmap consists of reviewing investment laws, foreign ownership, bankruptcy and public-private partnership, evaluation, reform, simplification and digitization of the commercial registration process, and facilitation of procedures for obtaining credit.

The roadmap also includes expanding the competencies of the Competition Protection Office, including more experts in it, and expanding the scope of the National Fund for the Development of Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) to include innovation.

Kuwait plans to shift the executive management of the country from operator to regulator, through a government center to be established in early 2022.

The plan also includes dissolving the Ministry of Services and creating a new Ministry of Communications and Information Technology in order to develop the ICT strategy, as well as building a smart national strategy 'Towards a Smart Kuwait' in line with Vision 2023.

The Ministry of Information will be dismantled as of the last quarter of 2024, and the Media Authority will be established to implement media regulations in early 2023, the country decided.

Kuwait plans to establish six new local municipalities covering all its governorates, abolish of the Ministry of State for Housing Affairs and transfer its powers and responsibilities to the Ministry of Social Affairs.

It will also establish a new independent authority under the name 'The Public Authority for Social and Housing Support; at the beginning of the first half of 2022.

 


TotalEnergies opens UK offshore wind hub in North Sea oil, gas center

TotalEnergies opens UK offshore wind hub in North Sea oil, gas center
Updated 10 sec ago

TotalEnergies opens UK offshore wind hub in North Sea oil, gas center

TotalEnergies opens UK offshore wind hub in North Sea oil, gas center
  • The energy firm also announced a £140 million investment in a 2 gigawatt offshore wind project in the west of Orkney

Enregy company TotalEnergies has opened an offshore wind hub in Scotland that will allow the “transition of staff from oil and gas to offshore wind” as the green sector grows, the French energy major said in a statement.

The unit will sit inside the firm’s existing Aberdeen center for UK North Sea oil and gas, and will draw on operations that have been “built over the last 50 years” at the site.

TotalEnergies chairman and chief executive Patrick Pouyanné said in the statement: “With the energy transition gathering speed, we see Scotland as a great place to broaden our relationship by investing in offshore wind.

“As a global multi-energy company long engaged in UK energy supply, our decision to base our UK offshore wind hub here in Aberdeen is a mark of our confidence in the future of renewables in the UK and our continued commitment to Scotland and the North Sea.”

TotalEnergies, formerly Total, also announced a £140 million investment in a 2 gigawatt offshore wind project called West of Orkney Windfarm. Australian bank Macquarie’s Green Investment Group and Scottish developer Renewable Infrastructure Development Group are also partners in the wind farm.

TotalEnergies said the three firms will “develop the Scottish supply chain and harbour infrastructure specifically around this project”.

The energy major purchased a majority stake in another large wind farm off the coast of Scotland last year, with expectations that global oil demand will peak before 2030, due to the low-carbon energy shift, reported Bloomberg News.

The firm has upped its stakes in renewable energy assets across the UK recently.

The French firm also invested in a smaller floating-wind project in Wales, Bloomberg said.

Also, in February, TotalEnergies again partnered with Macquarie’s Green Investment Group to win the rights to develop a 1.5 gigawatt offshore wind farm off the coast of Lincolnshire, England.


Saudi SMEs have raised $267m from crowdfunding: Saudi Capital Market Authority 

Saudi SMEs have raised $267m from crowdfunding: Saudi Capital Market Authority 
Updated 16 min 57 sec ago

Saudi SMEs have raised $267m from crowdfunding: Saudi Capital Market Authority 

Saudi SMEs have raised $267m from crowdfunding: Saudi Capital Market Authority 

Saudi SMEs have raised SR100 million so far this year through crowdfunding, Mohammed Al-Quwaiz, Saudi Capital Market Authority president at the General Authority for Small and Medium Enterprises (Monsha’at) has revealed.

“In the current year, from the beginning of the year to the middle of the year, crowdfunding platforms collected about SR100 million, all of which are for entrepreneurial companies. It's possible that a record was made when a company got financed within 10 minutes in terms of the time required to raise funding,” Al-Quwaiz said in a finance lecture.

“I saw a number of colleagues working on some crowdfunding platforms. This platform has become an important tool for financing companies specifically based on property rights or shares that are more compatible with the nature of entrepreneurial projects or debt instruments in a later period,” he said.

He said on the financing side most businesspeople think about bank financing first, which often serves the entrepreneurial companies.

“The other traditional method of financing, if a project is in its first stages, it requires funding from family and friends, and the main added value at this stage was to keep the regulatory authorities away from this issue significantly,” he said.


UAE space center launches startup incubator

UAE space center launches startup incubator
Updated 40 min 9 sec ago

UAE space center launches startup incubator

UAE space center launches startup incubator
  • The launchpad, as the UAE firm describes it, will allow businesses to collaborate with it on long-term projects and to have access to technology and support.

CAIRO: The Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC) has launched a startup incubator for entrepreneurs in the space technology sector. 

The launchpad, as the UAE firm describes it, will allow businesses to collaborate with it on long-term projects and to have access to technology and support.

“The UAE space sector is looking to further expand its horizon and create a new space economy landscape in the country through a self-sustaining space ecosystem,” MBRSC Director General Yousuf Al-Shaibani said. 

He added this is “only possible through partnerships with ambitious companies focused on emerging trends in the upstream and downstream areas of the space sector.”


UBER, Careem have their tax dues settled, Asharq reports

UBER, Careem have their tax dues settled, Asharq reports
Updated 18 October 2021

UBER, Careem have their tax dues settled, Asharq reports

UBER, Careem have their tax dues settled, Asharq reports

RIYADH: Uber and Careem have settled their tax dues in Saudi Arabia, and they are committed to and work according to the tax system in force in the country, Asharq reported, citing a source it didn't name.

Both companies had a different understanding of the tax system in the Kingdom, and learned the right mechanism of work in the local market after communicating with the General Authority for Zakat, the source said.
"Both companies obtained the necessary clarification at the time, and for a long time, and paid their tax obligations in this framework, and they are currently working according to the system," the source said.

The source added that Uber and Careem may have a previous objection to the tax assessment, and the decision in this regard is subject to the competent judicial authorities.

Bloomberg Agency had reported citing its own sources that Uber and its subsidiary Careem are facing tens of millions of dollars in tax payments in Saudi Arabia. 

It also revealed that both companies are facing a combined tax bill in the Kingdom of about $100 million.

These claims are linked to a dispute over how to calculate the value-added tax (VAT) due over the past few years, and the mechanism for sharing it between temporary work companies and individual contractors. The claims also include heavy fines due to late payments by these companies, according to Bloomberg.


Saudi Central Bank launches consultation on insurance fintech rules

Saudi Central Bank launches consultation on insurance fintech rules
Updated 18 October 2021

Saudi Central Bank launches consultation on insurance fintech rules

Saudi Central Bank launches consultation on insurance fintech rules

RIYADH: The Saudi Central Bank (SAMA) has invited the public to submit feedback on its draft insurance financial technology rules.

The new regulations aim to allow insurance FinTechs to work within a regulatory framework that “keeps pace with developments in the insurance industry in general, and insurance technology services in particular,” SAMA said in a statement.

The guidance covers such features as encouraging fair competition, obligations for practitioners, the accuracy and preservation of customer information as well as other consumer rights.

The central bank said its framework is designed to “stimulate innovation."

Members of the public have until Nov. 16 to send in feedback on the draft insurance fintech rules, after which SAMA will adopt its final guidance.