KUWAIT: A family is seen at Shuwaikh Beach as the sun sets behind Jaber Causeway on Friday. – Xinhua

KUWAIT: Kuwait plans to establish logistics cities on recently acquired land to support the local economy and attract foreign investment, Kuwait Ports Authority (KPA) announced yesterday. Sheikh Yousef Al-Abdullah Al-Sabah, KPA Director-General, said these cities will be built on an area of 2 million square meters and designed by global design agencies to ensure high standards that will support e-commerce.

The aim of the logistics cities’ project is to find a logistical solution with competitive prices for foreign companies that wish to store their goods regionally in Kuwait, attract foreign investment and fulfill economic growth, as well as support a diversification drive in the sources of income, Sheikh Yousef said. Each of the planned “logistics cities” will serve a particular purpose, he elaborated, saying these zones will prove beneficial to small- and medium-sized enterprises, in addition to offering firms abroad lucrative investment opportunities.

Kuwait will turn into a re-export and shipping center to neighboring countries, in addition to providing job opportunities for citizens in the fields of storage, artificial intelligence and warehousing logistics, Sheikh Yousef added. “The first project is a maritime single window system that links three ports together for efficiency,” he said.

The second “smart port” project will connect the systems of all related parties to release and secure the flow of goods electronically, he added. The facility will serve as a “contact point” linking all concerned bodies, besides using automation and innovative technologies to easily manage day-to-day operations. Meanwhile, KPA will establish its first dry port to serve the flow of goods, which will reduce the accumulation of trucks on the borders, Sheikh Yousef stressed.

On KPA revenues, Sheikh Yousef said an increase of 400 percent over the last six years pushed total assets to $186 million, an accomplishment he attributed to meticulous and intricate planning. The marine freight industry was hit hard by the COVID pandemic, coupled with recent “mishaps at sea” that brought a large chunk of global trade to a standstill, he added, expecting stranded ships to be on the move again once business picks up. – Agencies