The Business Year

HE Khaled Nasser Abdullah Al-Roudan

KUWAIT - Economy

Strengthening the Base

Minister of Commerce and Industry, Kuwait


Before his appointment as Minister of Commerce and Industry, HE Khaled Nasser Al-Roudan worked in the private sector, with extensive experience in media and marketing. He was the founder and vice-chairman of Senyar Marketing and Branding Company. Furthermore, he worked in investment firms like Bayan Investment Company, M-Net Payment Services Company, and Kuwait and Middle East Investment Company (KEMFIC). Al-Roudan has a degree in business administration, focusing on finance and financial Institutions from Kuwait University. As of January 2017, he also serves as the Acting Minister of State for Youth Affairs.

"Kuwait is an active and versatile market for the F&B and FMCG industries."

How would you describe Kuwait’s progress in diversifying its economy, and how is the ministry equipped to drive diversification of the economy?

The 2015-2020 plan could be named “the rebirth.” Kuwait was the first country in the region to build a comprehensive infrastructure between 1950 and 1960s. This infrastructure has reached it maturity and it is time to rebuild the country. But, infrastructure does not build countries, economies do; therefore, we have been concentrating on different initiatives to achieve the target of becoming a more open economy and focusing on diversification of its sources of income. This has been the cornerstone of the development plan. The Ministry of Commerce and Industry (MoCI) is committed to utilizing the Ministry itself and its affiliated bodies to enhance and improve the eco-system of Kuwait. We aim to achieve that by simplifying and automating the procedures and processes of establishing and maintaining business licenses and registration, while taking into consideration the best practices and latest technologies, enhancing regulatory requirements for trade and commerce supervision, and improving the skills of employees attending to those tasks.

How can Kuwait use its vast resources to drive surrounding industries?

Kuwait is one of the main oil providers in the world and is one of the top oil-reserves countries. The country has been successful in its partnership with global leaders in petrochemicals and we are witnessing more companies entering this market in Kuwait. At MoCI and our affiliates, we are taking into consideration the needs of businesses in those industries and are working closely with stakeholders to improve the underlying platform and enhance the process and procedures related to them. We are also encouraging international companies to enter the Kuwaiti market and the Kuwait Direct Promotion Authority (KDIPA) has been successful in executing and inviting international firms to start their direct business in Kuwait without a local agent, such as Huawei and IBM, along with many others that already have been operational. On the other hand, we will soon have the Authority for the Protection of Competition (APC) working at its full capacity to enhance and improve the competition in the Kuwaiti market as well as ensure fair trade for all stakeholders in the economy. The National Fund for SMEs has been working vigorously to consolidate and enhance and promote entrepreneurial initiatives among the youth in Kuwait in order to enhance the local business communities. The fund has been engaged in different financing programs and training and development program and we aim to that the National Fund will be a major driver in the near future and would be a factor in increasing the employment of Kuwaitis in the private sector, the National Fund also focuses on enhancing the engagement of small and medium enterprises in that field, in which we believe it would be an added value to the overall economy and assist as well in the knowledge transfer by linking international players with the know-how with local business to collaborate in the field similarly to what is happening between the multinational companies and the government.

Kuwait has a strongly developing food market, with national giants, like Mezzan and Americana, increasingly becoming regional leaders. What potential can be further unlocked for the F&B and FMCG market in the country?

Kuwait is an active and versatile market for the F&B and FMCG industries with major players in not just locally, but regionally. This has been the norm for a long time. Americana and Mezzan are indeed recognizable publicly traded companies, yet there are other players in those sectors, varying from SMEs to multinationals. We have witnessed many new brands in both industries originating in Kuwait and expanding into regional countries, which have been a great added value to our economy and we are aiming to encourage those businesses to expand into other countries and continents as well as encouraging similar businesses to take the foot-steps of the predecessors and increase the Kuwaiti foot-print in other economies.



You may also be interested in...

Screen Shot 2023-03-14 at 16.28.53

KUWAIT - Industry

Abdulkarim Al-Saleh


Group CEO, FAWAZ Group


KUWAIT - Telecoms & IT

Shadi Al Samad


CEO, M2R Group

Screen Shot 2023-03-02 at 16.09.55

KUWAIT - Economy

Fatima Al Salem


Director General, Kuwait News Agency (KUNA)

View All interviews