KUWAIT: The Supreme Council of Privatization, within the framework of government economic and financial reform, approved a major comprehensive plan to privatize several economic facilities and activities the government is currently managing, according to a local report. The government will move from being an operator to a supervisor responsible for general policies, Al-Qabas Arabic daily reported yesterday. A long-term plan that stretches over 20 years has reportedly received government approval and will affect 38 government entities by offering projects to the private sector, starting with facilities the government is currently operating.
About the implementation of the privatization plan, the council indicated that will be in two stages: In the first stage, some facilities will be transformed into commercial entities, as there already are government intentions to allow state departments to establish new companies in accordance with the law. In the second stage, the commercial entities will be privatized and some of them will be offered to the private sector to operate and manage.
The plan used the success of Boursa Kuwait as an example, which was privatized earlier and played an integral role in developing the Kuwait stock market and diversifying the national economy in a way that agrees with the goals of the New Kuwait 2035 vision, as the company contributed to the reclassification of Kuwait as an emerging market in the top three international indicators, which strengthens the country’s status as a leading regional financial center through several market reforms as part of its comprehensive plan to be implemented over a number of stages.
It succeeded in introducing innovative investment tools, augment the transparency level and restructure the market in order to increase liquidity and competitiveness based on its strategy and mission to focus on developing the market to be at par with international standards.
Neighboring countries made long strides towards privatizing services and their main sectors, and although Kuwait was a pioneer in presenting this idea a long time ago, privatization steps are moving very slowly for several reasons, including political, administrative, economic and social considerations.
The development plan clearly points to efforts towards privatization of the main workshops of the ministry of electricity and water and privatizing fixed landlines and international communications in order to increase the productivity of the private sector, in addition to generating national income away from oil.
The privatization of communication will guarantee increasing the gross national product in 2030 by around KD 450 million, improve the infrastructure of communications and present better services to citizens, in addition to creating job opportunities for Kuwaitis in the private sector.