Northern zone to redress economic structural imbalances – Silk City chief

One of the main objectives of New Kuwait Vision 2035 and its most important project of the northern economic zone was redressing the structural imbalances of the national economy, CEO of the Silk City and Boubyan Island Development Council Faisal Al-Medlej has stated.

The ambitious mega project would turn the northern area into a regional commercial hub benefiting from its distinctive geographical location near a large market of up to 200 million people and huge economies whose production exceeds US$ one trillion a year, Al-Medlej projected in a joint news conference following a government and parliamentary meeting on the issue on Sunday.

The political stability in Kuwait and its reputation as a state of institutions would attract investors to the multi-billion dollars project. “We have great chances to turn this zone into a safe gateway for regional trade that ensures the freedom of movement of people, goods and money,” he clarified. He stated that His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah had pushed for teaming up with China to implement this strategic project. The northern economic zone comprises five islands: Boubyan, Failaka, Warba, Miskan and Awha, in addition to a considerable part of the Subiya area with a total area of nearly 1,700 square kilometers, he said.

For his part, Member of the Supreme Council for Planning and Development Dr. Fahad AlRashed emphasized the importance of the project in creating new job opportunities and diversifying national economy. Kuwait in the coming 15 years would need 400,000 to 600,000 jobs for the new entrants of the labor market, he said in the new conference. He stressed that these jobs should be productive ones and with value added to the national economy. He added that the plan would also help diversify Kuwaiti national economy and end dependence on oil revenues.

Meanwhile, Chairman of the Parliament’s Financial and Economic Affairs Committee MP Salah Khorshid noted that the meeting focused on exchanging viewpoints about the northern economic zone. He, however, stated this mega project still requires more studies and deliberations. The legislative authority is eager to find new sources for income other than oil and to see new strategic development projects provided that they were put forward in a transparent and clear way and they do not contradict the constitution.

Earlier, First Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defense Sheikh Nasser Sabah Al-Ahmad AlSabah said the northern economic zone bill does not violate Kuwait’s constitution. He, however, said that the northern economic zone law must be flexible enough to attract investors. Sheikh Nasser hoped both executive and legislative authorities would complete the study of the law in the coming weeks.

The meeting was also attended by National Assembly Speaker Marzouq Al-Ghanim, Minister of Justice and Minister of State for National Assembly Affairs Dr. Fahad Al-Afasi and Central Bank of Kuwait Governor Mohammad Al-Hashel and several members of the Supreme Council for Planning and Development and board of trustees of the north economic zone.