The Oxford Business Group, in cooperation with the Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development, issued a report on Kuwait’s response to dealing with the Covid-19 crisis, indicating that Kuwait has taken large-scale measures to contain the spread of Covid-19, Al-Rai daily reported.
The report pointed out that the country entered the pandemic with a prosperous and diversified economy and a well-resourced healthcare system. At the beginning of Coronavirus, Kuwait was third in the Arab world after Qatar and the UAE in terms of per capita GDP.
The stringency measure index, through which Oxford Business group measures the response of governments to the Coronavirus, during the period between March 2020 to March 2021, Kuwait scored the highest average score among the Gulf Cooperation Council countries, at 70.51 points, compared with 66.67 points for Qatar, 64.53 points for Oman, 60.97 points for Bahrain, 60.3 points for Saudi Arabia, and 53.1 points for the UAE.
While Kuwait’s foreign exchange reserves, which reached a record level at the end of last year at USD 45.5 billion, are still strong, the budget deficit as a percentage of GDP, according to Oxford estimates, was about -0.07 percent, compared with -0.05 percent in 2019.
The report stated that a little more than a month after the first confirmed case of the Coronavirus in the country, the Council of Ministers began implementing several monetary and financial policies to support affected industries, sectors, and families, as well as to achieve stability in the macroeconomic environment, while the General Reserve Fund strengthened the country’s ability to manage the deficit.
The report assumes that the rise in oil prices in the first quarter of this year will partially address deficit concerns in 2021, expecting that the Kuwaiti economy will surpass growth levels before the Corona crisis by 2022, indicating at the same time that the economy needs a variety of government funding resources.
SOURCE : TIMES KUWAIT