Kuwait has called for creating a joint food security network among Gulf states to ensure adequate and accessible food supplies and meet basic food shortages amid the coronavirus outbreak.
In a press statement on Thursday, the Ministry of Commerce and Industry said the proposal was made by Minister Khaled al-Roudhan during an extraordinary videoconference for Gulf Cooperation Council commerce and industry ministers aimed at addressing the economic implications of the outbreak.
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Kuwait called for special arrangements at border control and customs posts to ensure the smooth movement of basic food and medicine supplies among GCC countries.
Meanwhile, Kuwait’s Central Bank launched Thursday a package of incentive and regulatory decisions related to Kuwaiti banks.
Central Bank Governor Mohammad al-Hashel said the stimulus package includes reducing the liquidity standards applied to banks.
It also reduced capital adequacy requirements for banks by 2.5 percent and eased the risk weighting for small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to 25 percent from 75 percent to provide extra liquidity for vital parts of the economy during the outbreak.
It increased the banks’ maximum available lending limit to 100 percent from 90 percent and raised the allowable percentage of financing for residential developments according to the value of the real estate or cost of development.
The stimulus package approved by the cabinet aims to provide liquidity for SMEs to meet their obligations, Hashel noted.
It will raise bank lending capacity by five billion dinars ($16 billion) to confront the impact of the coronavirus, the Kuwait Banking Association (KBA) said on Thursday.
KBA Chairman Adel al-Majed said in a press statement that the package will help banks play their vital role in the economy and motivate them to provide more loans and finance productive economic sectors and clients affected by the crisis.
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