Kuwait can gear up for high priority infrastructure projects such as the metro and revitalising its national airline. Image Credit: AFP

There is a direct relationship between development and legislation that helps deliver results from such activity. This relationship invariably influences the extent of economic and social progress achieved by that nation and can lead to either positive or negative outcomes.

There is a direct relationship between development and related legislation that helps deliver results from such activity. This relationship invariably influences the extent of economic and social progress achieved by that nation and can lead to either positive or negative outcomes.

Consider this.

In Singapore, legislations passed by parliament contributed to transforming the country from an economically backward island-state to a highly developed country with living standards that are among the best in the world. These laws facilitated the entry of new capital and companies, transforming Singapore into the advanced global commercial and financial hub that it is.

In contrast, some legislative institutions have played a negative role in development efforts by enacting detrimental laws and diverting attention from their basic tasks to side issues that hinder economic activity. These result in harming growth rates and lead to missed opportunities.

For instance, Kuwait’s National Assembly and the Lebanese parliament have dragged their countries into labyrinths and distracting disputes, just so they can settle factional and personal scores at the expense of development and a brighter economic future.

While Lebanon continues to struggle with a situation that does not allow overcoming this dilemma, Kuwait has made a historic decision that is supposed to put it back on the path of development, after freezing the work of the National Assembly for a period of four years.

This period is considered sufficient for the government to adopt a development agenda that will enable Kuwait to catch up with its GCC neighbours. There is a parallel need to tackle other shortcomings and issues related to economic management, corruption and laxity on job creation.

It should be noted that all obstacles to development cannot be attributed to the Kuwaiti parliament, even though it is the most important one. For example, the Kuwaiti parliament had earlier hindered a project by Dow Chemical, resulting in a $2 billion fine for Kuwait.

More pertinent is that the MPs who were against the project, causing their country such substantial loss, were not held accountable.

The Kuwaiti Emir outlined a development roadmap in his speech at the first meeting with the new ministers following the dissolution of the National Assembly. His plan focuses on accelerating infrastructure development, fighting corruption, implementation of new projects and fast tracking administrative work. The Emir highlighted the need for ministers to play their roles diligently and without complacency.

Bring back infrastructure focus

Kuwait now needs to embrace certain directions to move up to an advanced stage of growth by leveraging its significant financial and human capabilities. Over the next four years, Kuwait can embark on the implementation of numerous infrastructure projects, particularly some that were studied in depth in the past.

The expansion of airport facilities and implementation of the Kuwait Metro can be initiated to address the needs of the large population increase. The metro project will yield significant economic, environmental, and cultural benefits.

Additionally, Kuwait can start developing its section of the GCC Railway and link it to the rest of the project, which has made considerable progress in some GCC countries. This will significantly contribute to the development of the transport and trade sectors in Kuwait.

Full-scale transformation for airline 

Efforts can be made to accelerate the development of air transport by salvaging Kuwait Airways from its current situation - and transforming it into a major regional carrier. Kuwait's strategic location can be leveraged to turn it into a primary trade hub through the development of ports, particularly completing the Mubarak Al Kabeer Port project, especially since major countries like China have shown significant interest in investing in its development.

Kuwait, which is also a pioneer in the financial and investment sectors, alongside the industrial and hi-tech sectors, can leverage its distinctive human capabilities. Notable examples include the ‘Sakhr’ computer, which played a significant role in spreading the culture of modern technology among Arab generations, and Talabat, a leading online food ordering company that was founded in Kuwait and matches its foreign counterparts in reach and finesse.

Tap Kuwaitis' business acumen in full

These examples highlight the capabilities of Kuwait’s creative people, which should be harnessed for developmental purposes, in addition to many other promising sectors.

So, Kuwait’s state institutions face a pressing challenge and a limited timeframe to propel the country to a new phase of growth and progress. Drawing from the experiences of its GCC counterparts can be instrumental in this endeavour.

Additionally, Kuwait can leverage the expertise of Gulf and foreign professionals, particularly in areas where it lacks sufficient experience.

Thus, the picture will become clearer for Kuwait and the National Assembly after four years on how to oversee its legislative role.