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New blow to Kuwaiti economy

Council of Ministers decides to cancel the free trade zone area in Shuwaikh

KUWAIT CITY JAN 9: “Regrettably, there is a new blow to the Kuwaiti economy after the Council of Ministers decided to cancel the free trade zone in Shuwaikh.

It is the only free trade zone in Kuwait although the country is located along a long coast with a unique geographical location. Most countries in the region wishes to be like it in order to be a transit and trade exchange station,” columnist Zayed Al-Zaid wrote for Annahar daily.

“The free trade zone in Shuwaikh was established in the 1990s with the aim of increasing the money flowing into Kuwait and reviving the economy by making it the transfer and commercial exchange point between countries in the region as the case with successful free trade zones in Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, UAE, Qatar and Oman which exploited their geographical positions to change their ports into import and export stations like Jebel Ali Port that has become the world’s most famous port. “We differ from others in the region in terms of using the free trade zone for other purposes. Some traders exploited it to be an investment and commercial area, similar to the areas distributed to become industrial and professional areas but their activities turned out to be restaurants and cafés, instead of diversifying State resources and stimulating the economy.

“In conclusion, we have to admit that we live in a series of economic disruptions and confl icting visions between State departments despite the directives of the leadership to diversify sources of income and use the country’s geographic location for this purpose. The Parliament is supposed to monitor the government and participate in formulating economic reforms, yet we find it busy with trivial issues.”

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