Ilustrative image. Image Credit: Gulf News archive

Cairo: Kuwaiti Finance Minister Abdul Wahab Al Rushaid has said citizens must replace foreigners working as advisors in the ministry as the country seeks to create more employment opportunities for its people.

Al Rai newspaper reported that the official had issued instructions to “Kuwaitise” advisory jobs in the ministry.

“A platform will be launched soon to apply for these jobs,” Al Rushaid was quoted as saying.

Foreigners make up nearly 3.4 million of Kuwait’s overall population of 4.6 million.

In recent months, there have been increasing calls in Kuwait for curbing foreigners’ employment along accusations that migrant workers have strained the country’s infrastructure facilities amid economic fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic. The country has vigorously pursued an employment policy known as “Kuwaitisation” for its citizens.

The number of foreign workers in Kuwait dropped by around 134,000 at the end of last year compared to 2020, according to recent official figures.

The country’s overall workforce in both public and private sectors stood at 1.8 million at the end of December last year against 1.9 million the previous year, figures from the state Central Statistical Bureau showed.

The number of non-Kuwaiti workers dropped to 1.4 million, marking a decrease of around 134,000 compared to the year 2020.

Meanwhile, the number of Kuwaiti labour rose to 430,128 at the end of last year, an increase of 24,000 against 2020.

The decline in expatriate labour in Kuwait is believed to have been due to economic fallout from COVID-19.