Kuwait announces it today in the official newspapers that the massive dispensation of expatriates harms the Kuwaiti market and begins to reverse some of its decisions against expats

The research team in Meed Magazine prepared a report on the components of the Kuwaiti economy, in which it said that Kuwait has repeated its commitment to the Kuwaitization program to distance itself from being a country with a majority of expatriates.

This trend was reinforced by the statement of His Highness the Prime Minister Sheikh Sabah Al-Khaled on June 3, in which he emphasized that Kuwait plans to reduce the number of arrivals to 30% compared to 70% today, describing this percentage as significant. The imbalance in the demographic composition and correcting it would be a "future challenge".

It is noteworthy that the total population of Kuwait is 4.8 million people, of whom 70%, or about 3.35 million people, as of the beginning of June 2020, compared to 1.45 million citizens.

Rebalance

The team of researchers said that a schedule has not been announced to restore the balance between the population, but that work is already underway to restore the demographic parity, as state institutions seek to conserve public resources in the midst of the Coruna epidemic.

Kuwait Airways said last May that it would cut about 1,500 jobs for expatriates, or about 25% of the total workforce. The Minister of State for Municipal Affairs, Walid Al-Jasim, confirmed that Kuwait Municipality will freeze applications for employment of expatriates and that appointments under treatment have been canceled, and will not be renewed Staff contracts. Current expatriates.

The Kuwait Times newspaper quoted the Central Statistical Office as saying that the number of migrant workers in the municipality is 900 out of a total of 6800 people, and some members of the Kuwaiti National Assembly have proposed a quota system that determines the percentage of employment that can be employed from foreign countries.

Potential challenges

The magazine's report said that expatriates make up 237% of Kuwaiti public sector jobs in 2019, and most of them are recruited from a few or low-skill groups.

Broader reforms aimed at achieving a demographic balance will affect private sector firms in sectors, including construction, which, like other Gulf states, typically employ migrant workers more than citizens.

The sudden change in the demographics of the workforce may affect the projects being developed to encourage economic diversification in Kuwait, and significant reductions in the number of foreign workers may compel international construction companies to review the scope of their participation in project activity in Kuwait, if local labor laws limit the ease of doing business and activities Commercial in the state.

The team concluded by saying that Kuwait's ambition to set the priorities of its citizens and employ them is reasonable because it seeks to create a knowledge economy capable of attracting foreign non-oil investments in the future.

However, achieving these goals will require a fundamental shift in the country's core employment trends.