(MENAFN - Kuwait News Agency (KUNA)) The Kuwaiti government is keen to diversify the economy to reduce the country's dependence on oil and accelerate the process of industrialization.
Kuwaiti industrialists are eyeing a more effective role for the National Assembly to resolve the accumulated problems obstructing this national goal.
"The Kuwaiti industrial sector faces many challenges," Head of the Kuwait Industries Union Hussein Al-Kharafi said in an exclusive interview with KUNA.
He voiced hopes that the National Assembly (parliament) "would take responsibility towards this important sector and tackle all the problems through its legislative and monitoring powers." "The lack of land plots for industrial projects, bureaucracy and red tape in government agencies as well as the absence of new industrial and storage zones" are examples of these challenges, Al-Kharafi stated.
He added that there is also a need to facilitate the work of environment protection agencies and other industry-supporting government bodies.
Al-Kharafi expressed hopes the approved plan for setting up the Shadadiyah industrial zone would help develop this sector.
Meanwhile, Wataniya Fiber Glass Reinforced Plastic Factory Company Chairman Badah Al-Herbesh urged more accountability of government bodies before the National Assembly.
"The performance of some of these bodies is imbalanced and lacks long-term planning," Al-Herbesh said.
"Due to this poor performance, the industrial sector has been crippled with accumulative problems that require real and sincere efforts to address."
He also higlighted the importance of foreign investments in this field, pointing out the small number of projects that have been approved by the government in the past eleven years.
"The last approval for a big industrial project was in 1970," he stressed.
Al-Herbesh asked the National Assembly to pass the draft laws submitted to it to support industrial projects and allure local and foreign investments to this strategic sector.
Meanwhile, ex-chief of National Company for Consumer Industries Abdullah Al-Abbar said MPs should not interfere in the specialised affairs of the industrial sector.
"It should only monitor the performance through the data collected by relevant agencies," he said.
Al-Abbar also called for facilitating the Kuwait private sector contribution to the industrial sector through cutting bureaucracy.