Kuwait France partnership provides promising opportunities


Marmore MENA Intelligence, a subsidiary of Kuwait Financial Centre ‘Markaz’, recently released a report titled ‘Kuwait - France: Opportunities for Further Leverage’. The report details on various themes on the bilateral relationship between the two countries ranging from trade, investments, cooperation in the fields of education, research, innovation that will provide impetus for the development of SMEs and creation of knowledge economy.

Regular exchange of high-level state visits over the years, has provided sustained momentum to bilateral cooperation between Kuwait and France. For Kuwait, the key learning from France would be its policy initiatives and programmes implemented in the past on creating a knowledge economy and henceforth enabling development of technology. Focusing on innovation in SME sector is another key aspect of the French efforts. France’s education system, its national innovation policy and protection of intellectual property rights are areas where Kuwait and France can expand their wings of cooperation in the coming years allowing the free flow of human resources, education, skill and technology between the two countries. Perfumes, medicines and beauty products form 15% of France’s exports to Kuwait, followed by medicaments. Other exports include jewelry, aircrafts, and building materials. Kuwait’s exports to France largely consists of refined petroleum and crude petroleum which accounts for 84% and 13% respectively.  France has 21 companies who have established a subsidiary company in Kuwait.

Kuwait and France can coordinate their efforts to reinforce their relationship beyond trade. Improving strategic partnerships can strengthen the competitive position of the Kuwaiti economy within a sophisticated and integrated global market system. Leveraging respective competencies, the Kuwait-France cooperation can contribute to investing in educational systems, research especially in the areas of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) and creating a sustainable ecosystem for the SMEs. Both countries  could also work towards enhancing their socio-political and cultural relations. Forward-looking and insightful scenarios for a resilient and transparent policy architecture can be put in place, including activities on strategic communications and public engagement.

From the perspective of Kuwait, the objective is to transform the country into an innovation and financial hub in the Middle Eastern region and beyond. In the process, Kuwait will have to combine being an attractive host for innovative R&D-oriented multinational companies, while also being a sought after incubation ecosystem for the best entrepreneurs in the world. This will form a crucial part of the economic diversification roadmap for the next phase of the development of the Kuwaiti economy. Kuwait is committed to improving national competitiveness across multiple areas, in which France can play an invaluable partnership role.