The Economic Affairs Committee in the Council of Ministers discussed the idea of the project presented by the Government Performance Follow-up Agency in line with the State of Kuwait’s orientation towards activating the partnership between Public-Private Partnership Projects Authority (PPA, especially since the Public Authority for Agriculture Affairs and Fish Resources (PAAAFR) has expressed its desire for a ‘Greater Zoo’ project to achieve a qualitative leap in the educational, research, environmental, tourism, and investment fields.
Al-Qabas said the project is the government brainchild to be implemented by the Public Institute for Social Security (PIFSS) at a total cost of 546,947,207 dinars.
The source explained that the stages and procedures that were taken earlier towards the idea of the project are as follows: On July 11, 2011, the Municipal Council issued a decision approving the request submitted by the PAAAFR to allocate a site for the Great Zoo on an area of 1.4 million square meters west of Jahra, west of the Sixth Ring Road; on December 1, 2015, PAAAFR had submitted a request to the Public-Private Partnership Projects Authority (PPA) to propose the project, No. 116 of 2014 regarding the partnership between the public and private sectors; on June 5, 2016, the PPA presented the project idea to the Higher Committee for Partnership Projects, where the Supreme Committee decided not to approve the project idea and PAAAFR was notified of the disapproval.
During the period from May 11, 2017, to November 11, 2018, several meetings were held between the PAAAFR and the PPA to study the issue again until PAAAFR informed the PPA that no financial appropriation had been included for the Great Zoo project by the Ministry of Finance, as well as not including the aforementioned project within the development plan, which led to the cancellation of the project.
The source said that the agency indicated in its proposal that it is in line with the trend towards achieving a qualitative leap in the country and the formation of a distinctive tourist destination in the Arab Gulf region through the implementation of a multi-use educational, entertainment, and educational project for all visitors and a desire to develop the idea in coordination with the establishment.
PIFSS discussed the idea of the project, and in this regard, several meetings were held, which resulted in PIFSS supporting the implementation of the project through one of its subsidiaries (Wafra Real Estate Company), especially that the proposed project will be unique in the State of Kuwait.
It will be a great edifice with great material and moral return that aims to create investment opportunities for local companies, attract foreign investments and provide job opportunities for Kuwaitis, as well as spread the culture and education and activate the tourism and entertainment movement in the country, which leads to advancing the local economy and stimulating the private sector locally, and even attract foreign capital.
The proposal revealed the benefits of the state’s public finances in the event that the PIFSS implements the project through the following — the state budget does not charge the cost of the project; the possibility of addressing inflation of the amount of the actuarial deficit of the PIFSS, which the state is obligated to pay, and whose value is about (22 billion dinars) according to the statement of the institution in this regard, by allocating the project land for the benefit of the institution and exchanging the value of the land in the event that it is allocated for a part of the value of the deficit actuarial amount with the necessary legal tool.
The report indicated that the initial study submitted by Wafra Real Estate Company, if implemented on an area of 1,400,000 square meters, the components of the project would be (animal shelter, educational and cultural centers, zoo, commercial activity, restaurants, resort, hotels, water park (indoor and outdoor), climbing, horse riding, botanical gardens, theaters and entertainment, golf courses, bike paths, etc.
The proposal confirmed that there will be a positive impact of the project through the following — the economic impact that will contribute to the GDP, increase jobs and personal profits; educational impact through research and education and social impact through conservation, knowledge, and positive behavior.