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Kuwait joins fintech sandbox rush

Kuwait joins fintech sandbox rush

Kuwait's central bank is launching a regulatory sandbox for startups, joining a crowded regional field jostling to become the Middle East's top fintech spot.

The central bank has put together a regulatory sandbox framework document designed to promote innovation by letting firms test products and services in a secure environment.

Typically, participants will have one year to go through four stages in the sandbox before being evaluated by a taskforce on readiness to enter the market.

Says Central Bank of Kuwait governor Mohammad Y Al-Hashel: "We as regulators, and other regulatory bodies, must ensure that we play a proactive and dynamic role in creating regulations that facilitate innovation and growth, while at the same time avoiding or at least mitigating risks."

Kuwait is joining several other Middle East players in the fintech race. Abu Dhabi, Bahrain and Dubai have been active in establishing sandboxes and accelerators and signing cooperation agreements with other domiciles, while Saudi Arabia recently issued its first fintech licences.

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