Premier patronizes campaign on Kuwait development plan

KUWAIT: Minister of Finance Dr Nayef Al-Hajraf speaks during a Kuwait Investment Forum at the Sheikh Jaber Al- Ahmad Cultural Center on Tuesday. —KUNA

KUWAIT: Six of the projects listed in the State Development Plan would complete by the first quarter of 2019, ministers revealed. This came during the third session of the Kuwait Investment Forum 2018 which kicked off Tuesday at the Sheikh Jaber Al-Ahmad Cultural Center in the presence of His Highness the Prime Minister Sheikh Jaber Al-Mubarak Al-Hamad Al-Sabah. The ministers said that the government is committed to transparency with the society about the pace of execution of the state development plan projects to implement the vision of His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah to raise the efficiency of state institutions, achieve sustainable development and have developed infrastructure.

They identified the six projects as the Kuwait International Airport's Passengers Support Terminal (T4); Sheikh Jaber Al-Ahmad Bridge; the project of revamping air navigation systems; the first stage of the Shagaya renewable energy complex; the last phase of clean fuel project; and the establishment of a company for entertainment services.

Minister of Oil and Minister of Electricity and Water Bakheet Al-Rashidi said that 84.8 percent of clean fuel project was finished and the whole project would complete in 2019. The project aims to increase Kuwait's oil production and meet growing demand for oil products on local and global markets, he said.

He unveiled that 80 percent of the Shagaya renewable energy complex have been done. The nascent project would help materialize His Highness Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah's vision to produce 15 percent of electricity through renewable energy by 2030, he clarified.

He disclosed that that shares of Zour North Power Plant, which produces 10 percent of Kuwait's power production and 20 percent of the desalinated water, would be put up for public subscription before the end of this year.

Meanwhile, Minister of Finance Dr Nayef Al-Hajraf said that the Finance Ministry has set a major goal to stop the squandering of government funds without affecting investment spending, which increased in this year's budget from 17 to 18 percent. He pointed out that the studies conducted by the General Secretariat of the Supreme Planning Council revealed squandering of up to 40 percent of the government spending. He estimated capital expenditure since the launch of the state development plan in 2010 until today at KD 23.6 billion (about $78 billion). Kuwait rankings on various international indexes improved last year, including in the World Bank Group's ease of doing business list, he said.

Minister of Industry and Commerce, and Minister of State for Youth Affairs Khaled Al-Roudhan stated that a package of legislative reforms is on the pipeline to woo foreign investments. This package includes new commercial registration law; reorganization of the insurance sector; a law for information exchange; a law for bankruptcy and restructuring; a new competition protection law, he said.

He added that the Direct Investment Promotion Authority attracted more than KD 725 million (about $2.4 billion) in foreign investments in the last three years which generated more 1,000 job openings. He noted that the number of new limited liability companies increased from 5261 companies in 2016 to 9682 companies in 2017.

New Kuwait

His Highness the Prime Minister Sheikh Jaber Al-Mubarak Al-Hamad Al-Sabah on Tuesday sponsored a ceremony on the 'New Kuwait' initiative to review the national development plan. The plan is based on the 'Kuwait 2035' vision of His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah on transforming Kuwait into an international commercial and financial hub by this period.

In his speech during a dialogue session, Hajraf reviewed pillars, on which the vision is based, that include some programs of projects. He referred to the improvement witnessed by the State of Kuwait in several financial aspects in accordance with specialized global institutions. Roudhan touched upon steps taken by the government to achieve sustainable and diversified economy through the encouragement of foreign investments and an integrated vision to improve business environment.

Rashidi talked about development and infrastructure projects under construction. He revealed phases of projects that have been finalized, the deadline of their completion, as well as other schemes to be operated by the end of the first quarter of next year. Minister of Social Affairs and Labor and Minister of State for Economic Affairs Hind Al-Sabeeh explained the role of government's effective management as a pillar of its development plan.

She referred to a strategy for combating corruption and enhancing transparency through the implementation of the integrated strategic plan of e-government. In a press statement following the session, His Highness the Prime Minister affirmed keenness of the government on materializing the vision of His Highness the Amir on the transformation of Kuwait into an international commercial and financial hub so as to highlight its status and to be among the developed countries. He said this was clearly manifested in accomplishments made on ground over the last period.

Holding the campaign reiterates eagerness by the government to brief the Kuwaiti people transparently on the latest developments of the ambitious plan and its goals achieved in this period, mainly building a national staunch economy which provides a dignified life and bright future for the next generations, the premier said. Kuwait has managed to chalk up several development achievements and projects that contribute to promoting an investment environment and an integrated economic climate, and to enact many legislations and laws to benefit investment in Kuwait, he stated. Finally, the premier commended the event's organizers that aims to support national economy, expressing his pride for efforts by the Kuwaiti people to serve their dear homeland. - KUNA