ICT sits at the heart of the government’s 2035 strategy, New Kuwait, launched in 2017, but Kuwait has already made great strides in the digital economy. In the “Global Information Technology Report 2016” by the World Economic Forum, the country was among the biggest risers, and regulatory reforms are being put in place to usher in an era where tech companies help speed up the evolution towards a diversified and knowledge-based economy. State funding is being used to create an ecosystem that will help start-ups develop, while larger firms and state agencies work to boost efficiency and productivity through a growing range of solutions that streamline processes and allow the real-time analysis of consumer behaviour. Although ICT covers all sectors of the economy, its true significance is partially captured by government data on the industry. According to the latest data available from the Central Statistical Bureau, the communications sector generated KD1.294bn ($3.92bn) in GDP in 2015, up marginally from KD1.292bn ($3.91bn) the previous year. This was equal to 5.2% of non-oil GDP and 3.2% of overall GDP at current prices.
This chapter contains an interview with Qusai Al Shatti, Acting Director-General, Central Agency for Information Technology.