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‘Size of capital not specified … discussions ongoing’
KUWAIT CITY, Dec 15: The Public Authority for Industry (PAI) is in the process of establishing a fund the capital of which will be directed to support industrial exports from what it called ‘deserving factories’, reports Al-Rai daily. Reliable PAI sources pointed out a committee will be formed for this purpose comprising members from the ministries of Commerce and Industry and Foreign Affairs, as well as from the General Administration of Customs, the Kuwait Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and the Industrialists’ Union the purpose of which is to develop local industrial exports. The sources did not specify the size of the capital but discussions in this regard are still ongoing in the midst of legal and technical coordination between the concerned authorities on the possibility of establishing a fund with government capital directed to support part of the financing of basic materials for eligible industrial exporters, provided that part of the raw materials PAI deducts from the exporter’s revenues which it called a fair percentage.
According to the sources, the Fatwa and Legislation Department, during oral discussions, expressed its rejection of this proposal, on the grounds that the procedure violated the law, explaining that the current trend is for the committee to prepare a specific vision in this regard that emphasizes the importance of the fund’s role in supporting the development of industrial exports and its lack of impact on public money, especially since the industry is on the cusp of a new era of vision and partnership in ambition, aspirations and facing challenges, with the aim of supporting and strengthening its path and advancing it towards new and ambitious horizons, suiting the aspirations and challenges of the future stage.
The sources pointed out that the success in making tangible changes in the structure of industrial output and the development of industrial exports will raise the rates of non-oil revenues, from more than one gate, not least the increase in fees collected by the state on customs release, and it is also relied on that the targeted support from the fund will contribute to building a strong and solid competitive industrial economy. It is noteworthy that the value of annual manufacturing exports amounted to about 1.67 billion dinars in the year preceding the corona virus pandemic, including the petrochemical sector, which is a modest number compared to the exports of neighboring countries.
The sources stated that the members of the committee discussed the most prominent challenges that reduce the level of Kuwaiti exports from the industrial sector and their development, while they reviewed some possible solutions to overcome these obstacles, which are being listed in preparation for submitting them to the Council of Ministers to take what it deems appropriate. The sources indicated that the comprehensive study expected to be prepared by the committee will not be limited to limiting the challenges of developing industrial exports, but will also include the most prominent possible solutions through which sustainable development of this sector can be achieved. In this regard, they agreed that there are a number of major challenges impeding the development of Kuwaiti industrial exports.