Kuwait parliament approves amendments on income tax decree


According to the draft law stipulating the amendment, all commercial institutions that carried out activities in Kuwait, regardless of where they are based, would now have to pay an income tax of 15 percent.

The draft law exempts profit made from trading at Kuwait Stock Exchange, whether made directly or through portfolios and investment funds.

It also exempts profit made by Kuwaiti merchants through the sale of merchandise that is purchased and transported privately.

The government’s right to collect taxes is annulled after the passing of five years from the date that the institution presents its tax forms, it said.

Furthermore, the finance minister is tasked with placing implementational regulations within six months of the publication of this law in the official state gazette.


Saudi exports to reach record high of $ 240bn in ’07



Arab News: Saudi Arabia‘s total exports of goods and services are expected to grow by 6.7 percent in 2007 to reach SR900.8 billion ($ 240.2 billion), according to a report issued by the General Statistics Department. Non-oil exports of goods are expected to grow by 24.9 percent to SR106.8 billion, it added.

Preliminary statistics issued by the Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency (SAMA) said the Kingdom’s trade balance in 2007 was estimated to record a surplus of SR555.6 billion with an increase of 1.1 percent compared to the previous year. Current account is estimated to record a surplus of SR 344.4 billion in 2007 compared to SR371 billion in 2006, SAMA added.

The statistical department said the Kingdom’s exports in 2006 amounted to SR791.34 billion ($ 211 billion), registering an increase of SR114.2 billion ($ 30.45 billion) or 17 percent compared to the previous year when the figure was SR677.14 billion ($ 180.57 billion).

Non-Arab and non-Islamic Asian countries accounted for 50 percent of the Kingdom’s exports (SR394.56 billion) with an increase of 21 percent (SR67.64 billion). Japan topped the list of countries that imported Saudi products, mainly crude and petrochemicals, with its imports amounting to SR130.37 billion or 17 percent of the total, the department pointed out, adding that the country’s imports from Saudi Arabia rose by SR24.79 billion.

The United States held the second position receiving 15 percent of the Kingdom’s total exports (SR119.24 billion). South Korea was placed third with SR72.57 billion, followed by China SR49.56 billion and India SR48.52 billion, and all of the five reporting big increase in imports from Saudi Arabia.

Singapore also held a leading position among importers from the Kingdom with a total value of SR37.4 billion, followed by Taiwan SR29.04 billion, the UAE SR25.49 billion, Holland SR24.33 billion, Bahrain SR22.72 billion. “The above 10 countries imported products worth SR559.24 billion from the Kingdom or 71 percent of its total exports,” the department said. The department said Asian countries received the largest quantity of Saudi exports worth SR130.37 billion, followed by South Korea (SR72.57 billion). In North America, the US topped the list receiving Saudi exports worth SR119.24 billion, followed by Canada SR5.43 billion.

European countries together received 13 percent of total Saudi exports worth SR105.78 billion with Holland importing the lion’s share worth SR24.33 billion, followed by Italy SR1.36 billion.

Among the GCC countries, the United Arab Emirates received Saudi exports worth SR25.49 billion and Bahrain SR22.72 billion, the department said.

Arab countries outside the GCC accounted the fifth largest group to receive Saudi exports with Jordan topping the list with imports of SR12.15 billion followed by Egypt (SR10.32 billion). Non-Arab Islamic countries imported products worth SR39.59 billion in 2006 with Indonesia becoming the largest recipient (SR11.48 billion), followed by Pakistan SR11.36 billion.

The Kingdom’s exports to non-Arab African countries accounted for only two percent of its total exports with South Africa receiving products worth SR12.6 billion, followed by Kenya receiving products worth SR2.07 billion.

The department said the fluctuation in oil prices during 2006 had a big impact on the total value of Saudi exports. However, it noted a nine percent drop in the total weight of exports from 469,306 tons in 2005 to 429,282 tons in 2006.


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