Prime Minister, amend laws of envy and grudge

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YOUR Highness the Prime Minister, let us talk frankly: For 60 years, the two authorities have been boasting about creating a national industry and ensuring food self-sufficiency. In every work program of the successive governments, there has been an item to motivate and support these two sectors. However, the opposite has been happening in reality. Instead of encouragement, thorns were put on the wheels and procedures have become increasingly arbitrary, until Kuwait became repellent for any individual initiative in all sectors.

Ahmed Al-Jarallah

Today, we are in a new era. His Highness the Amir Sheikh Mishal Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah announced his general plans on several occasions, the most recent of which was his speech on May 10 about restoring Kuwait’s ‘pioneership’ and renaissance. In its first meeting, His Highness instructed the government to work on this restoration, and that he will hold any negligent person accountable. From this standpoint, the Council of Ministers must live up to the expectations of His Highness, who translates the aspirations of the Kuwaiti people into reality.

Restoring ‘pioneership’ is done by creating a national industry that has the ability to compete through incentives, not obstructing its work as it is happening currently — whether through what is called ‘judicial control’ granted to inspectors who sometimes work according to their whims, closing factories just for a minor mistake based on the interests of competitors or issuing decisions that increase the burdens of the factory and its workers, as if everyone is a thief. In countries where an industry has emerged, governments have placed all incentives for it. They supported it financially, in the media and in marketing. They secured all capabilities for the industry, because it is one of the pillars of prosperity and the best evidence of the strength of the State. We have the best examples in our neighboring countries in terms of renaissance in this field.

Other countries also support the agricultural industry, because they want to attain food self-sufficiency and protect national products. In this regard, the late Lebanese-American writer, Gibran Khalil Gibran, was right when he said: “Pity the nation that wears a cloth it does not weave, eats a bread it does not harvest….” “The first basis for the collapse of states is dependence on the outside for everything, starting with food and not ending with importing factors of comfort and luxury. Ibn Khaldun warned about these 600 years ago.

Consequently, it is important for Kuwait to have its own industry and agriculture, rather than depending on others for everything — even cleaning tools, livestock and tomatoes. Other countries that took many of our ideas now export everything to us, because they relied on local industry. They even concluded agreements with major factories in the world to manufacture weapons and parts of some heavy equipment. HH the Prime Minister Sheikh Ahmad Abdullah Al-Sabah, you are an economist. You have long experience in what can help strengthen financial mobility in the country, and what self-reliance in food and industry means.

We have money and vast areas of wasted land. The real value of such land lies in the facilities therein. Thus, allocating industrial and agricultural plots is not enough if this is not accompanied by practical incentives. About 30 years ago, Kuwait signed the offset system with several countries. It is an obligation imposed on foreign entities that sign contracts with the government to implement projects that achieve the objectives of the program. Was this implemented? What joint actions (JOINT VENTURE) were taken? Your Highness the Prime Minister, the Public Authority for Industry and the Agriculture Authority are under your jurisdiction. You currently have the authority to legislate and implement. Therefore, you have the capabilities to embark on the revival of the industrial and agricultural sectors, so that Kuwait enters the era of self-sufficiency like the rest of the Gulf countries. Is this difficult to achieve?

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