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Joint panel says Kuwaitization process very slow

KUWAIT: A committee comprising of representatives from the government and private sectors is aiming to rectify the lopsided expat-citizen composition in the private sector. “Kuwaitization in private companies is moving slower than expected. A committee of experts and financial consultants has been formed in order to put forward practical solutions for the needs of the Kuwaiti market. Our aim is a ratio of 70 percent citizens compared to 30 percent expatriates by letting go of workers who are not needed in the Kuwaiti marketplace,” government sources told Kuwait Times.

The committee representing the government and the private sector from the Chamber of Commerce and Industry will put forward a plan to fix the situation in both sectors by combining sectors of similar work and through the privatization of government entities, including the ministries of electricity, information, communication and health.

“Kuwaiti private companies are very slow in localizing their companies, so the main objective is to put forth a combined plan to improve the Kuwaitization process. These solutions include reducing employee benefits in the public sector and hiring Kuwaitis in jobs where there is actual need, such as the health sector and some teaching specializations such as mathematics, physics and chemistry,” the sources added.

The panel will start its work after the National Assembly elections and in time for the new government’s formation. The sources added the government can let go of around 50,000 expatriate workers in Kuwaiti companies within three years, specifically in construction companies, which lack Kuwaiti workers.

“The committee is an important and serious step to unify the vision of the future between the private sector and the government, in hopes to deter abusive iqama traders, who have flooded Kuwait with workers who are not able to find jobs, and allow for more opportunities where there is need,” the sources added. Notably, the process will include a system where expatriates without a needed job will be forced to leave by limiting work permits and hiking fees under strict new regulations.

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