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Foreign Trade Overview

Kuwait is highly dependent on foreign trade, which represents nearly 95% of the GDP. Kuwait's imports total 16 billion USD. The country depends especially heavily on imports of foodstuffs, consumer goods (40% of total) and semi-finished products (38% of total), which ranks it among countries with the highest per capita import rate. The imports have been increasingly quickly due to the country's undertaking of large projects and a high private consumption demand.

Kuwait's largest suppliers are Germany, the United States, Japan and Saudi Arabia. Imports from other Gulf countries have increased since the introduction of the GCC (Gulf Cooperation Council). The main products imported are cars, agricultural and food products, as well as mechanical industrial products, electric and electronic products. Kuwait's exports quadrupled between 2002 and 2008 (USD 87 billion in 2008) Exports of crude oil and refined products account for 95% of the total. The remaining amount consists of re-exports, mainly of machinery and transportation equipment.

Kuwait's main clients are the Asian countries, especially Japan (17.5%), South Korea (13.9%), Taiwan (9.3%), as well as Singapore, India and China, but also the United States (8.2%) and some of the countries of the EU. The trade balance of Kuwait is largely positive due to the high prices of oil.