Retail and wholesale trade accounts for a sizeable percentage of Kuwait’s non-oil GDP – at 9.1% as of February 2018 – and there are solid growth forecasts for the coming year. Kuwait has one of the highest per capita incomes in the world at $68,500 in 2017, according to the World Bank, and there is strong demand for luxury and imported goods among wealthy locals and foreign residents, who now make up around 70% of the population. Kuwait’s retail sector saw significant growth in 2017 as new and old players rushed to adapt to changing tastes and demands. Innovative malls and increased competition from e-commerce retailers have started reshaping the local market. These trends are expected to continue into 2019 as stable macroeconomic fundamentals and government infrastructure programmes boost growth and encourage investment.

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