Balanced foreign policy attracts investors to Kuwait: Roudhan

Calls for more price control to prevent unjustified hikes

 

Minister Khaled Al-Roudhan

KUWAIT: The economic situation in Kuwait is stable and the country has a great chance of attracting foreign investments thanks to its well-balanced foreign policy, a government official said. Minister of Commerce and Industry Khaled Al-Roudhan made those statements during a seminar hosted at former MP Yousef Al-Zalzalah’s diwan Sunday night.

Commenting on prices, Roudhan stressed that they are subjected to supply and demand. “Nonetheless, prices did not increase a single fils throughout 2017,” he underlined, noting that he also worked on improving the business environment in Kuwait, focusing on small and medium projects as well as consumer protection. He added that the small and medium projects fund needs to change its policy and to define such projects. “We will for instance allocate 10 percent of commercial spaces at the airport and various co-ops for those projects,” he added.

Roudhan said that ever since he came to office, he has been keen on meeting with the public and listening to them without any barriers. “Positions do not last,” he stressed, noting that after all, he was a devoted Kuwaiti citizen keen on making achievements that will eventually benefit Kuwait and citizens.

Unjustified hikes
Meanwhile, Zalzalah stressed the need to have more price control to prevent unjustified hikes. He added that even when prices went up because of high oil prices, they remained the same when oil prices dropped, leading to a drop in the Kuwaiti dinar’s value. “This reflects some defects that need to be handled,” he stressed.

Zalzalah hailed the role played by the Ministry of Commerce and Industry’s (MoCI) consumer protection department and urged the public to contact it in case of commercial fraud. “However, even the consumer protection department cannot stop these irrational price hikes. Prices are like ghouls that consume citizens’ incomes,” he said. Zalzalah said that decisions are made slowly at the National Fund for Small and Medium Enterprise Development because of linking it to local banks and having to make reports about entrepreneurs.

“These discouraging reports are made by expats who deliberately wish to hold citizens’ transactions because of their low salaries,” he explained, calling for having citizens make the reports because they know more about their fellow citizens. “Low salaries of employees at the small projects fund can also open the door of corruption amongst employees who pass projects worth millions,” he added, calling for more incentives for the fund’s Kuwaiti employees. Finally, Zalzalah wondered about a project proposed in 2005 to build a free trade zone between Kuwait and Iraq, noting that Jordan profited from the idea and already built one with Iraq.

‘Save it to Last’
Kuwait Food Bank’s Deputy Chairman Meshaal Al-Ansari stressed that the food bank focuses on developing charity work in Kuwait by helping needy families. Speaking on the occasion of launching the food bank’s first charity campaign ‘Save it to Last’, Ansari said that it is the first ever drive launched in Kuwait by a charity with the aim of protecting schoolchildren’s health and promoting awareness about the need to rationalize food purchases to avoid throwing away excess food. Instead it should be saved in special containers at homes or schools to be given to the needy.

“The food bank aims at spreading the culture of preserving food and correctly recycling it as a form of thanking Allah for such blessings,” he underlined, noting that the campaign helps needy families regardless of religion, gender or race. Finally, Ansari added that the food bank accepts donations 24/7 through text messages of amounts of KD 1, 5 or 10, or through its website www.kuwaitfoodbank.org.

By Meshaal Al-Enezi

This article was published on 12/02/2018