chapter  2
23 Pages

The State of Kuwait

ByJ.S. Birks, C.A. Sinclair

Kuwait is found at the head of the Arabian Gulf. Bahrain preceded Kuwait in developing oil resources, but Kuwait’s production of crude oil is on a quite different scale. In terms of oil reserves and production, Kuwait ranks fourth in the Middle East after Saudi Arabia, Iran and Iraq. Kuwait’s position in these ‘league tables’ tends to change quite often as constraints are placed on oil production and as new oil reserves are discovered. The rate of population increase amongst both Kuwaitis and non-Kuwaitis from 1965 to 1970 was 9.6 per cent per annum, and from 1970 to 1975 was again very similar, 6.2 per cent per annum respectively. The mixed sector tends to include larger-scale enterprises, with government owning some 50 per cent of the equity shareholding. Although such problems might eventually be less significant than is here suggested, nevertheless they imply a need for caution in development planning which is always present in the capital-rich states.