Kuwait’s government plans legislation that will let the private sector manage commercial ports and the country’s international airport, with the government retaining its ownership of the assets, said Minister of Commerce and Industry Yousef Al-Ali.
Speaking on the sidelines of the Kuwait Investment Forum held last week in Kuwait, Al-Ali said there is an urgent need “to revitalize the ports, whether sea or air, for commercial business.
We need to develop the management and transfer it to the private sector.” Like other Gulf countries, Kuwait is under heavy pressure to cut costs and improve the efficiency of its economy as low oil prices cause it to run a state budget deficit. Kuwait’s existing law only allows for the transfer of ownership in state assets. Although Kuwait has discussed outright privatization, it has run into political and technical obstacles, so officials are now talking of simply transferring management. The minister did not specify when the new legislation would be passed.
If the law is amended, it will provide Kuwaiti companies such as logistics giant Agility, KGL Logistics and Jazeera Airways opportunities to get involved, said Mustafa Behbehani, chairman of the local firm, Kuwaiti Gulf Group for Administration and Economic Consulting.
“They have the experience to manage the airport and the ports and they operate abroad — Agility has international operations, and KGL and Jazeera do as well,” he said.
- Times Report