Interview: GCC region remains attractive investment destination: expert

Source: Xinhua| 2019-03-12 23:14:34|Editor: yan
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KUWAIT CITY, March 12 (Xinhua) -- The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) region makes continuous progress in attracting foreign capital to become a preferred investment destination in the emerging markets, a Kuwait's investment expert said.

"For the next phase, outlook of the GCC region remains sanguine due to diversified efforts of the region's governments," Faisal Hasan, head of Investment Research Department at KAMCO, a Kuwait-based investment company, told Xinhua in a recent interview.

The region continues to remain unique in the emerging market, given that it satisfies certain qualities of developed and emerging markets, he said.

On the current economic situation in GCC markets, he said that "we expect GCC countries to continue their fiscal re-balancing drive and efforts away from oil-based economies, toward more non-oil private sectors."

Initiatives to bolster these economies will continue, but be less synchronized than the previous years, as individual GCC countries are likely to use different fiscal tools to shore up their state finances, he stressed.

"The opportunities and route for diversified efforts of their economy and fiscal revenues remain idiosyncratic," he said.

"There are experience from the examples of Malaysia, Indonesia, and Chile, all providing different approaches," he said, noting that "locally, we also have the example of the UAE developing Dubai into a trade hub, regional financial center and tourism destination, all aiding non-oil revenue generation."

He said that the consumer sectors will continue to attract investments, due to rising consumption needs across the region.

"Participation should continue to increase in e-commerce, food and beverage, logistics, education, and transport," he added.

In addition, stable oil prices would be crucial for the GCC to keep GDP growth and for the region to maintain its balance, he noted.

To encourage and protect investments, he said that governments in the region have set up offices for simplifying procedures, and enabling favorable legislative frameworks for the investment.

He added that efforts have also been made in laws, including those related to competition, labor, small and medium-sized enterprises, privatization, and anti-corruption.

Regarding taxes, Hasan affirmed that the GCC region remains attractive due to the favorable tax regulations in most countries.

About the stock market in Kuwait, he said that "our view on the Kuwait market in the near future remains constructive, and we expect the market to remain as one of the top performers in the GCC."

"Banks in Kuwait are strong and well placed," he said, adding that trading activity on the exchange of foreign investors should pick up as well, he added.