Kuwait slashes company tax from 55% to 15%

Kuwait’s parliament has passed legislation which slashes tax on net profits
of foreign companies from up to 55% to a flat 15% in an effort to attract
foreign investments to the oil-rich gulf state.

The legislation replaces a 1955 law, which has been hampering the flow of
foreign investment into Kuwait, and exempts profits made by foreign companies
from trading in stocks listed on the Kuwait bourse.

Ahmad Baqer, Kuwait MP and head of parliament’s financial and economic
affairs panel, told reporters the law would encourage foreign investors in all
sectors of the Kuwait economy, including the huge oil sector which generates 95%
of public revenue.

Mustafa al-Shamali, Kuwait finance minister, told parliament the law was
important to transform the gulf state into a regional financial and trade hub.
Kuwait has been struggling to attract foreign investment, recording a lacklustre
inflow of about $US300m (?151m) dollars in 2006, compared with $US18.7bn for the
United Arab Emirates.

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