Kuwait is aiming to have a “foreigner free” national oil sector by mid-2021, a new document has shown.
The official document, reviewed by The New Arab’s Arabic-language service, revealed that Kuwait authorities plan to end the employment of all expatriates in the ministry of oil, the Petroleum Corporation and other government petrochemical companies before July 2021.
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It states that expatriates would be replaced by Kuwaiti nationals in the oil sector.
The document indicated that the number of expatriates working in the ministry of oil and companies affiliated with the Petroleum Corporation is around 684 people.
The contracts of 342 workers, which amounts to half of the expats in the government oil sector, will be terminated in December, while the services of 171 employees will be terminated in February, and the remainder in July 2021.
Indian nationals are the largest community in the Kuwaiti oil sector with 390 employees, with the next highest being US nationals with 120 employees. European nationalities are the third largest community with 90 employees and the fourth largest Egyptian, with 40 employees. The rest are from other parts of the world.
The government plan included new mechanisms for appointing citizens in the Ministry of Oil and its affiliated bodies and companies, as well as training programs for Kuwaitis.
The process part of the much-criticised nationalisation policy, known locally as Kuwaitisation, or Takweet in Arabic.
“The Council of Ministers gave the ministry of oil the green light to start the 100 percent Kuwaitisation procedures,” a government source told Al-Araby al-Jadeed.
“Kuwaitisation will also affect private sector companies operating in the oil sector, as companies will be motivated by incentives for having a large Kuwaiti population in their companies,” the source added
It indicated that these measures will not apply to foreign oil companies operating in the country.
Foreigners account for nearly 3.4 million of Kuwait’s 4.8 million population and account for around 70 percent of the country’s workforce. Around 29 percent work as domestic workers and drivers.
Kuwait has been planning to replace its foreign workforce with nationals for a number of years, but by the end of 2019 only 19 percent of Kuwaitis were working in the private sector.
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