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MENAFN - Arab Times - 25/01/2014
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(MENAFN - Arab Times) For the non-oil sector, growth is likely to rebound to 4.6% in 2013 on the back of further recovery in the manufacturing, construction and real estate sectors backed by strong government capital expenditure budget allocation for FY2013/14. As mentioned in our previous reports, the policy agenda will continue to be framed by attempts to push through projects tied to the 105bln 2010-14 Kuwait Development Plan (KDP), which includes a 2.1bln airport expansion, the 3bln Al Zour independent water and power plant project, several hospitals, roads, bridges and a new city. The government's new four-year plan, which runs until fiscal year 2016/17, proposes the establishment of share holding companies, 50% of which will be owned by Kuwaiti citizens, to implement development projects worth KWD12bln (42.3bln). The government also plans to boost electricity production, to create 77,500 jobs for Kuwaitis in the public and private sectors and to build 36,700 housing units by the end of 2017

Kuwait is set to secure 1.43bln financing from a consortium of banks for a power and desalination plant, one of the major projects in the Gulf Arab state's development plan. The Az-Zour North Power and Desalination project is Kuwait's first public-private partnership (PPP). The plant is part of a KWD30bln development plan announced in 2010, which also includes a refinery, new airport and major causeway. The plan is aimed at diversifying the economy and updating Kuwait's infrastructure which is out-moded when compared to regional peers such as the United Arab Emirates. South Korea's Hyundai Heavy Industries will build the first phase of the project, which comprises a 1,500 megawatt natural gas-fired power plant and seawater desalination plant. Hyundai, which said it had taken over the contract from a GDF Suez-led consortium, said the first phase would be completed in the fourth quarter of 2016

According to Kuwaiti officials, half of the total funding allocated to governmental projects, within the country's KWD30.5bln development plan, will be spent by the end of March 2014. Moreover, KWD 15bln, i.e 50%, is expected to be spent on more than 1,200 economic projects, most particularly, on the oil industry. Kuwait is aiming at paving the way for embracing more businesses by eliminating legislative or executive obstacles. Officials added that more privileges are being given to the private sector such as increasing privatization, Build Operate Transfer (BOT) and offset projects

However, post April 2014 development plan cannot be determined immediately; as the main focus is to turn Kuwait into a financial and commercial hub; a target that is yet to be worked on. Nonetheless, no specific figures were released about the size of accomplishments that have been achieved as of yet in the country's economic and social development plan until it's all completed

To recap, Kuwait Development Plan (KDP) is a series of five 5-year plans approved by Parliament in February 2010, stretching to 2035 and aimed at converting Kuwait into a trade and financial hub of the region. The First 5-year Plan is approximately KWD35bln; which covers projects across a variety of sectors, including mega projects aimed at developing: oil capacity, utilities, infrastructure (including residential cities), and services (especially healthcare and education)


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