Kuwait - Country Commercial Guide
Market Opportunities
Last published date:

The Government of Kuwait’s $104 billion National Development Plan includes the construction of major roadways, a new airport terminal, new hospitals, new residential developments, a new Kuwait University campus, a new oil refinery, oil exploration, and new power projects. 

Upcoming projects include a proposed $10 billion expansion in desperately needed electricity generation capacity (through public-private partnerships), investment in environmental cleanup projects, expansions to the public and public-private healthcare systems as well as defense and security opportunities. 

Imports in the sectors of automotive, oil and gas, information technology, healthcare products and services, and construction equipment remain strong. There is a shortage of high-quality health care facilities, and the Government of Kuwait is prioritizing healthcare infrastructure as part of the national development plan.  The Government is focused on improving the IT/cybersecurity capabilities as well as enhancing efficiencies through the digitization of the oil & gas sector.  Kuwait has made it a priority to improve local education including adopting new technology and tools to better educated Kuwaiti students.  All of these factors bode well for high-end exports that already have exposure in the gulf and broader middle east. 

Transportation equipment, including automobiles and automotive parts, is one of the top exports to Kuwait. In 2022, the United States exported $1.2 billion worth of transportation equipment to Kuwait. This accounted for 34% of all U.S. exports to Kuwait. U.S. high-end medical equipment has great promise, as clinics and hospitals are being upgraded. Oil and gas field equipment, electric generator sets, building materials and supplies, and information technology are also leading American export sectors. The Kuwait Petroleum Corporation and its subsidiaries are actively pursuing new U.S. sources for equipment and services. The Commercial Service organizes Kuwaiti delegations to U.S. trade shows in these key sectors. It also supports medical, aviation, defense, and oil and gas trade shows in the GCC region, in addition to organizing inbound U.S. supplier delegations and outbound foreign buyer delegations to U.S. trade shows.

Kuwait is in the process of digitally transforming its oil sector and government systems, adopting cloud computing and cybersecurity programs, and localizing its sensitive data.  A national cybersecurity center is in development. All of these priorities will need the support of advanced technology; therefore U.S. firms have a strong opportunity for market penetration. There is an opportunity for small businesses to play a role in the tech ecosystem in Kuwait.

Kuwait is a wealthy country with savvy businesspeople.  However, the dominant public sector often moves very slowly. Patience, persistence, and a strong local partner are important contributors to success.