Kuwait seen awarding $24bn contracts during 2014

More than $24 billion in contracts could be awarded next year, double the value compared to the total this year.

Many of the opportunities will be found in Kuwait's oil and gas sector, with bids due to be submitted over the next three months for the two largest projects - the estimated $16bn Clean Fuels Project (CFP) and the $7bn Lower Fars heavy oil scheme.

"Oil and gas is not the only sector of interest. Kuwait is embarking on one of the region's most ambitious hospital expansion programmes as it seeks to double the number of beds over the next decade," said Edmund O' Sullivan, chairman, MEED Events, organisers of Kuwait Projects 2013.

Kuwait is also pushing development in education, with construction work ongoing on the $3bn-plus Sabah al-Salem new university campus.

Tenders are also expected to be issued soon for the long-awaited $3.2bn new Kuwait International Airport terminal, while there are long-term ambitions for a multi-billion-dollar rail and metro network.

Over the long-term, MEED said it sees a more robust projects market in Kuwait, with over $100 billion worth of contracts to be awarded and implemented over the next 10 years.

Kuwait's budget surplus fell to KD12.7bn ($44.8 billion) - equivalent to 24.7 percent of gross domestic product, still one of the highest levels in the world - for the fiscal year that ended in March. Its current account surplus stood at KD22.2bn in 2012.

The IMF has forecast Kuwait's fiscal surplus will come in at 27.4 percent of GDP in 2013/14 after 33.4 percent in 2012/13, higher than the finance ministry's estimates.

Source: http://www.arabianbusiness.com