“An objective without a plan is a dream,”
Douglas Murray McGregor (1906-1964).
Every country in the world has natural wealth. Some countries utilized their natural wealth successfully while others did not. Some countries failed due to investment circumstances in terms of using their natural wealth ideally. Nonetheless, I am convinced there is no poor country in this world, only poor management and there are many examples of that.
For instance, Singapore has limited natural resources but it became an economic giant due to proper management of resources. Another success story of a country with limited resources is Malaysia. Recently, a country called Rwanda has been making major strides in its economy despite the devastating civil war it endured two decades ago. Not far from us is Dubai in the United Arab Emirates.
This country has become a difficult number in the global economy despite its limited natural resources, whereas countries with abundant natural wealth are failing due to mismanagement or political interference in everything. This led to their devastation like Libya and Sudan, among others. Someone might claim that war leads to failure of countries. I believe that if such countries have the culture of managing their resources properly, they would have bounced back and progressed without blaming the war for their poor economic performance. Kuwait has a massive oil reserve which, by far, is improperly managed, or its investment potential has yet to be tapped. Kuwait produces, refines and sells crude oil.
This means the country is only a window of selling oil. Proper management of this vital resource entails that instead of selling crude and refined oil for one hundred dollars per barrel, Kuwait could earn much more from the same barrel if it sells its products (derivative) by localizing such industry while building sustainable human resources and fiscal capital through it. There is a huge crisis among the youths of this country in what is known as latent unemployment, which is noticeable in the government sector where a department that can operated by 30 individuals ends up being operated by 300. Therefore, majority of the employees in that department are just a burden and unnecessary manpower.
Practical, realistic and fair solutions when it comes to development include focusing on investment in oil products, localizing the industry, expanding it and encouraging the youths to work in such industry. Kuwait can also benefit from another industry – solar energy, given that this land could harness huge reserves of this energy to power various fields.
This could make the public treasury save half of expenditures on energy such as providing power for street lights, houses and eventually various industries. As I said earlier, the proper management principle distinguishes a successful investment of resources from the unsuccessful one. All that a country needs to do is to take drastic and audacious measures in order to improve the economy, at least, by using the existing natural wealth.
By Yousef Awadh Al-Azmi