KUWAIT: Kuwait has invested in the expertise of residents and has the right to continue benefiting from their skills, Chairman of Kuwait Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) Mohammad Al-Saqer said, adding that world studies have proved that the age period between 60 and 70 years are the most productive.
The senior official was commenting in a statement yesterday on the Public Authority for Manpower’s recent decision to allow residents aged 60 and over who do not hold a university degree to renew their residence permits, provided they pay an annual fee of KD 500, in addition to paying for private health insurance. Saqer said Kuwait views the issue of reforming the labor and population structure as a three-dimensional national cause, as it is seen as a key component in efforts to reform the state’s budget situation “and the basic condition to strengthen the national identity through which Kuwait can move to become a producing country.”
Saqer added that reforming the labor and population structure cannot be done with “partial and unstudied decisions,” rather through an integrated long-term plan that relies on Kuwait’s needs and its developmental model. He said another dimension revolves around the argument of creating job opportunities for Kuwaitis in place of residents over 60 who wouldn’t have been able to renew their visas under the old ban. Saqer noted that those job opportunities would not have attracted national manpower anyway “at least not at the present time.”
“It would have been better if efforts were instead redirected towards eliminating visa trafficking,” he said. And while the new decision helps reduce pressure on the state’s health services system, Saqer says it remains an “isolated decision” that is away from a comprehensive plan to reform the population structure.