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Kuwait has taken tangible steps to diversify income: Al-Roudhan

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MoSAL decision aims at supporting citizens to work in private sector

Kuwait’s Minister of Commerce and Industry Khalid Al-Roudhan and his Sri Lankan counterpart Abdu Rishad Bathiudeen signing the minutes of the second meeting.

KUWAIT CITY, Oct 11, (Agencies): Kuwaiti authorities have taken significant and tangible steps for diversifying income resources, through a comprehensive scheme based on increasing participation of the private sector in the domestic economy, minister of commerce has announced.

Khaled Al-Roudhan, also Minister of Commerce, made the announcement during the inking minutes of the second meeting by the Kuwaiti-Sri Lankan Commission for Commercial and Technical Cooperation.

Minister Al-Roudhan lauded His Highness the Amir’s guidelines to focus on economic development and find alternatives to income resources, as well as create jobs for the youth, according to New Kuwait Vision 2035.

He affirmed keenness on part of Kuwait Direct Investment Promotion Authority to develop private-public projects, support small and medium enterprise and improve business environment to lure foreign entrepreneurs.

As to the joint commission works, he expressed aspiration to broaden cooperation with Sri Lanka, noting that trade exchanges between the two countries reached $65 million in 2017. He indicated that the talks during the committee meeting addressed obstacles facing efforts to expand the cooperation between the two countries.

For his part, Sri Lankan Minister of Commerce and Industry, Abdu Rishad Bathiudeen, said it was the first commission meeting since 21 years ago, however he noted that his country and Kuwait had maintained trade cooperation at other levels.

The joint commission, founded in 1997, has contributed to enhancing mutual cooperation and commercial ties between the two sides. The Sri Lankan minister lauded Kuwait’s aid to his country, namely contributions to build 25 bridges. Meanwhile, Mesaab Al-Nisf, board member of the Kuwaiti Chamber of Commerce and Industry, affirmed Kuwaiti entrepreneurs’ desire to join hands with Sri Lankan counterparts.

The Financial Stability Court has refused to list Dar Investment Company under the Financial Stability Enhancement Law, reports Al-Rai daily quoting sources. Sources disclosed the court rejected the layout submitted by the company to provide legal protection for carrying out the restructuring plan, which was rejected by the Central Bank of Kuwait and a large number of the company’s creditors – banks and investors.

Dar is the first company under the Financial Stability Law in 2010, separated from it in 2015, and then re-applied in 2016. In another development, in line with the government’s plan to implement “Kuwaitization” (replacement policy) in both public and private sectors of Kuwait, Minister of Social Affairs and Labor Hind Al-Sabeeh says preparations for cancelling the condition requiring citizens to obtain work permits for taking up jobs in the private sector will begin soon in order to support and encourage them to work in that sector. Such a decision was taken after the Civil Service Commission (CSC) called on all ministries and affiliated institutions to prepare a list of expatriates in order to end their services in the coming phase, such that their last salaries will be issued in July 2019.

According to sources from CSC, the number of employees affected by this termination decision will be determined in coordination with the respective ministries and state institutions based on the work circumstances and the availability of alternative national manpower. They indicated that the situation might resemble the termination of services of about 3,500 expatriates in the previous fiscal year. In a similar context, the sources explained that the regulations for recruitment of manpower from overseas, and the decisions to organize the labor market and population structure will be issued before the end of this year.

This is due to occur after the decisions are presented to the concerned committee, which will be formed before the end of this month (October), and will include representatives of the concerned bodies such as Kuwait Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI), and labor unions and syndicates. The council will be chaired by minister of social affairs, and will have the authority’s director general, four employees of level not less than assistant undersecretary from governmental bodies, and three experts as members. It is expected to issue decisions, which will be stringent on recruitment, such as banning the recruitment of anyone above the age of 60 except for certain professions.

Meanwhile, latest statistics issued by CSC reveal that 7,500 citizens joined the public sector since January 2018, majority of who are women, such that there are 6,000 women (47 percent) and 1,500 men (30 percent). At the same time, the statistics show the number of Gulf and expatriate employees has dropped by 2,800 during the same period.

Regarding the employment of Kuwaiti women in the public sector, the statistics reveal that the number of Kuwaiti women, as of the start of this month, reached 164,805 (47 percent), which is an increase of about 5,940 from the start of this year when their number was 158,865. The number of Kuwaiti men, as of the beginning of this month, stood at 140,993 (30 percent). Their number at the beginning of this year was about 130,505. Therefore, the total number of male employees has increased by 1,488 within first ten months of this year. With this, the number of national labor in the public sector is 269,798, as of the beginning of this month.

The number of Gulf nationals working in the public sector as of the beginning of this month is 4,466; a rate not exceeding 0.8 percent. There are 4,011 Saudi, 227 Qatari, 107 Omani, 105 Bahraini and 16 Emirati nationals working in the public sector of Kuwait. In January this year, the number of Gulf nationals in the public sector was 4,510. This means their number has dropped by 44 employees in the last ten months. The number of Arab and Asian employees in the public sector is 78,000, constituting 22.24 percent as of October 1, 2018. Their number in the beginning of this year was 81,184. This indicates a noticeable drop in the non-Gulf Arab and Asian labor of about 2,800 employees in the last ten months

By Najeh Bilal and Fares Al-Abdan Al-Seyassah Staff and Agencies

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