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Industry awards ceremony for distinguished factories

An industry awards ceremony was held for ‘His Highness the Amir of Kuwait’s Award for Distinguished Factories’ in its sixth session yesterday. The Minister of Trade and Industry, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Public Authority for Industry, Abdullah Al-Joaan, representing His Highness the Amir Sheikh Mishal Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, said that Kuwait aspires to create a strong and advanced industrial sector with belief in the importance of expanding the productivity base, localizing modern technology, and encouraging innovation.

He reaffirmed that both His Highness and the Prime Minister support Kuwaiti industry, Kuwaiti companies and Kuwaiti youth, always aiming to create opportunities in the industrial sector for young Kuwaiti men and women, and to work towards developing and strengthening the local industry to meet local needs and enhance exports.

He said that it is also important to use savings to develop new industries and attract foreign investments by establishing export industries, supported by local and foreign capital, which will inevitably bring good returns. He added there is merit in increasing self-reliance to meet local demand for goods and increasing the volume of non-oil exports, which would rectify the deficit in the non-oil merchandise trade balance.

He explained that advantages also include creating job opportunities with added value for the national workforce in an advanced technical production field and creating a balanced and sustainable economy. He pointed out the importance of diversifying sources of income and reducing dependence on oil, “which in itself is an exhausting resource and whose revenues are subject to continuous fluctuations and are linked to international, political and economic events beyond the state’s control.”

He said that the award has had a positive impact in several areas, as it includes the best factories in the areas of strategic planning, leadership, operations management, markets and customers, increasing exports, preserving the environment and health, and encouraging community service. He stressed that Kuwait supports factory owners and entrepreneurs, especially in the areas of localization of modern technology related to what is known as the digital economy and artificial intelligence, and the adoption of clean green economy strategies, sustainability practices, and innovative solutions in manufacturing processes at various stages.

The acting director of the Public Authority for Industry, Eng. Muhammad Al-Adwani, stated that the industrial vision of the State of Kuwait is one of the most important basic elements in forming a new Kuwait vision for 2035, as it aims to develop various economic sectors, including the industrial sector, which leads to achieving economic and productive diversification, and reducing dependence on oil as a major economic resource.

Mohammed Al-Adwani speaking

The Industry Authority has completed the preparation of the National Industrial Strategy Document for the State of Kuwait 2035, which was approved by the Authority’s Board of Directors last October, and was submitted to the Council of Ministers for approval as the first strategy in the era of the industrial sector, supported by clear projects, a specific timetable, and a precise governance system, which will accelerate the pace of implementation of industrial strategic projects.

He added: The strategy highlights all the problems and obstacles facing the industrial sector, and develops solutions to address them, through 8 programs specialized in developing government operations, enhancing industrial investment, achieving industrial sustainability, and raising the competitiveness of the Kuwaiti product, in addition to developing the industry infrastructure and enhancing technology in the industrial sector, providing skilled manpower, and identifying priority industrial sectors.

The strategy also included forty-eight projects, which are being implemented in cooperation with all state agencies related to the industrial sector. He stressed that the Industry Authority is committed to the government’s direction towards maximizing revenues and diversifying non-oil sources of income. Indeed, the Authority has succeeded in approving the new rules and regulations related to the allocation of service, craft and commercial vouchers, and these vouchers will be offered soon through an auction for the best rental value to enhance the principle of transparency and governance and increase public revenues to the state.

He pointed out that the Authority has succeeded in approving the controls, requirements and documents required to qualify and approve consulting offices, according to specific standards in the field of economic feasibility studies for industrial projects submitted to the Authority, with the aim of imparting high technical quality to the projects, in terms of inventorying the necessary technical resources, production requirements, energy sources and consumption rates.

He said: The Authority has many future plans to keep pace with technological development by approving technical legislation, so that the Kuwaiti product is compatible with the requirements of the local and international market, as well as implementing a number of mandatory technical regulations for rationalizing energy consumption and reducing its depletion, which leads to achieving the state’s strategic goal, which is to increase revenues and diversify sources of income.

He pointed out that the role of the Authority comes within the framework of adopting the industrial strategy to enhance the competitiveness of the industrial sector in Kuwait. Within the framework of contributing to the development of capabilities of state institutions in building appropriate and effective infrastructure for the competitive economy, it results in reducing the production costs of institutions, thus raising the level of their productivity.

On the topic of national economy, he said: achieving the economic vision of the industrial strategy for the Kuwaiti economy, as a way to achieve Kuwait Vision 2035, it must be done through analyzing the reality of the conditions and opportunities available in the industrial sector to develop the competitiveness of the Kuwaiti economy.

The Chairman of the Federation of Kuwaiti Industries, Hussein Al-Kharafi, said that the Federation met with His Highness the Prime Minister last week, where the situation of the industrial sector, its obstacles, and proposed solutions were discussed to contribute to diversifying sources of income, and to be a factor attracting national workers. He added: Obstacles to the growth of the industrial sector and proposals to solve the problems were identified, pointing out that if the government paved the way for the industrial sector, it would be an important factor for social security in the country, and work to increase the size of the economy and exports in Kuwait.

Al-Kharafi expressed his optimism about finding solutions for the industrial sector, indicating that the priority of the local product is by force of law, as the Tenders Law issued in 2016 and amended by the 2019 law stipulates in its Article 62 the priority of the local product over everything else, as the law is the decisive factor in this regard, and there is a judicial ruling.

This supports the matter in question, and it is unthinkable for there to be a fatwa that prevails over the law. He pointed out that there is a legal rule that stipulates that the ruling represents the truth, indicating that fatwas are an advisory opinion, and there are contradictory fatwas on this subject.

He said that there are state institutions that separate the executive and legislative powers. He indicated that there is adherence to the law regarding the priority of the local product through the law. He explained that His Highness the Prime Minister promised to follow up on this file, and there will be meetings with the Minister of Commerce to resolve this matter, and the Union is seeking to reach the desired results.

The Head of the Investment Promotion Department, Head of the Arbitrators’ Team Section and the Technical Committee of ‘His Highness the Amir of Kuwait’s Award for Distinguished Factories’, Engineer Adhari Al Mahmeed, indicated that the selection of the members of the competition’s jury was made according to specific conditions that they must have previous experience in the fields of arbitration, whether from within the Authority or from outside it.

It was confirmed that the conditions were met by the applicants, evaluations were carried out on the forms, field visits were made by the judging committee, and the conditions were met with transparency and high professionalism. Grades were set for each category and the winning factories were selected according to what was announced during the ceremony.

Regarding the preference of the national product, Al-Mahmeed pointed out that according to the standards of excellence, the national product will impose itself, and therefore the authority is motivating factories to follow and adhere to international standards, which gives institutions a great opportunity to distinguish the national product in the institutions’ work and projects.

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