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Kuwait to invest KD 4.75bn in new development plan – Financing shared by both public and private sectors

Khaled Al-Mahdi

KUWAIT: Kuwait plans to invest KD 4.75 billion ($15.75 billion) in its 2017-2018 development plan, in which KD 1.59 billion will be borne by the state budget, the secretary general of the Supreme Council for Planning and Development said yesterday. Khaled Mahdi told a news conference that the rest of the funds would come from the public sector, including the energy industry, and from private investors.

Mahdi also said that financing of the current five-year development plan was being shared by both the public and private sectors. He said that the general government sector was providing 49.3 percent, oil sector was contributing 33.8 percent while the private sector was contributing 16.9 percent.

The scheme is based on “foundations,” namely effective government, sustainable and diversified economy, developed infrastructure, sustainable livelihood environment, high-quality healthcare, creative manpower and Kuwait’s international status. The first axis encompasses two programs – e-government and structural reforms, in addition to eight projects aimed at revamping the administration. One of the most important projects is upgrading the state structure and setting up an urban monitor, due to finish by Sept 30, 2019, and execution of the five-year IT plan due to finish by Dec 31, 2019.

As to boosting manpower skills and capacities, the relevant plans tackle upgrading quality of education, expanding accommodation at higher studies colleges, integration of citizens of special challenges into the society, improving care services for the elderly, boosting social cohesion and youth empowerment, in addition to 40 affiliated projects.

The diversified and sustainable economy axis envisions preparing business environment for the private sector, diversifying the productivity basis, state economic and financial reforms, employing the knowledge economy and overhauling tourism, plus 34 affiliated plans. This broad scheme also includes Al-Zour refinery, construction of which is due to finish by Dec 5, 2019, as well as the clean fuel project, scheduled to be finalized by April 12, 2018.

As to the infrastructure, it includes five major ventures, namely developing transportation, the IT and communication infrastructure and hiking electric power, as well as 32 affiliated projects, Mahdi said, also mentioning in this respect expansion of Kuwait International Airport, due to end on Jan 31, 2022, and Sheikh Jaber Al-Ahmad bridge by Nov 1, 2018.

As for livelihood enhancement, Mahdi mentioned rapid securing of houses for citizens, employing renewable energies, preserving the air quality, waste management, plus 16 others. One of the key projects within this framework is South Mutlaa housing project, due to finish by Sept 1, 2019, and treatment of hard waste in Kabd, due on Aug 31, 2017.

Regarding healthcare, this section includes good medical care, minimizing chronic diseases, hiking hospitals’ accommodation, plus 22 other plans. He mentioned Sabah Hospital, due on August 2, 2018, new hospitals in Farwaniya, by Dec 26, 2019, and new hospital in Adan, by June 27, 2019.

As to Kuwait international status, this approach aims at boosting Kuwait good image abroad, enhancing culture, arts, media and development, plus 13 relevant projects. Mahdi mentioned in this regard media support for development by March 31, 2018, Sheikh Saad Al-Abdullah Islamic Center by March 31, 2020, and Kuwait Center for Publications and Unique Manuscripts by Dec 1, 2020.

On participation of state-owned companies, Mahdi said the new planning law 7/2016 compels these companies to participate in such schemes, adding that the General Secretariat of the Supreme Planning Council has held several meetings with officials of these companies to help them present development projects to boost Kuwait’s international competitiveness status. The National Technology Enterprises Company and the Touristic Enterprises Company were the first to come forward and contribute to these ventures.

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