A bird's eye view of Kuwait.


Kuwait eyes reduction of expat population to 30 percent


DUBAI – In rare comments, Kuwait’s prime minister said the country’s expatriate population should be cut down from 70 percent to 30 percent.

“We have a future challenge to redress this imbalance,” Sheikh Sabah Al Khalid Al Sabah said on Wednesday, referring to 3.4 million foreigners out of a total population of 4.8 million.

State-run news agency Kuna carried Al Sabah’s rare statement on Wednesday, which follows a renewed push by lawmakers to reduce the number of expat workers.

Members of Parliament have proposed a quota system and replacing all 100,000 expatriate government employees with Kuwaitis.

In May, the Kuwait Municipality announced it will replace all expatriate employees in the municipality with Kuwaiti nationals.

Minister of State for Municipal Affairs Waleed Al Jassem also confirmed the municipality was freezing or cancelling employment applications from expats.

Kuwait lawmakers had welcomed the decision and also proposed legislation to replace all foreign workers in government roles within one year.

The legislation must be reviewed and approved by the National Assembly and accepted by the government.

The proposed law calls on government agencies to announce replacement plans within three months of enacting the legislation.

If no Kuwaitis apply for a certain job, government agencies can appoint expats on a temporary basis for one year, which can be renewed, if necessary. ICA/Expat Media

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