The Arab Economic Summit,
19-20 January 2009,
State of Kuwait

State of Kuwait


Amir H.H. Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al- Sabah.

Geography

Located in the north-east corner of the Arabian Peninsula, Kuwait is one of the smallest countries in the world in terms of land area. The flat, sandy Arabian Desert covers most of Kuwait. Kuwait is the only country in the world which has no natural lake or water reservoir. There is little difference in the country's altitude with the highest point in the country being 306 m above sea-level.

Kuwait City is the capital, located on Kuwait Bay, a natural deep-water harbor.

Climate

Kuwait has a warm tropical climate.

Summer, which lasts from April to September is extremely hot and dry with temperatures easily crossing 45°C (113 °F) during daytime.

Winter season, from November through February, is cool with some precipitation and average temperatures around 13°C (56 °F) with extremes from -2°C to 27°C.

Annual rainfall averages less than 127 mm and occurs chiefly between October and April.

The spring season in March is warm and pleasant with occasional thunderstorms.

The frequent winds from the northwest are cool in winter and spring and hot in summer.

Southeasterly winds, usually hot and damp, spring up between July and October; hot and dry south winds prevail in spring and early summer.

The shamal, a northwesterly wind common during June and July, causes dramatic sandstorms.

Currency The Dinar is the currency of Kuwait. It is sub-divided into 1000 fils.

Economy

Kuwait has proven crude oil reserves of 104 billion barrels estimated to be 10% of the world's reserves.

As a tax-free country, Kuwait's oil industry account for 80% of government revenues.

Petroleum and petrochemicals account for nearly 95% of export revenues.

Other major industries include shipping, construction, cement, water desalination, construction materials and financial services.

Kuwait's climate limits agricultural development.

Consequently, with the exception of fish, it depends almost wholly on food imports. About 75% of potable water must be distilled or imported.

The government is keen on decreasing Kuwait's dependence on oil to fuel its economy by transforming it into a regional trading and tourism hub.

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