20200510 kuwait
Kuwait City's skyline. Kuwait emerged as the weakest GCC countries in its support to the private sector in light of the conditions of the Coronavirus pandemic, after offering only additional lending facilities without a financial stimulus plan, said Marzouq Jassem Boodai, Deputy Chairman of City Group, the largest public transport operator and warehousing services provider in Kuwait. Image Credit: iStock

Kuwait City: Kuwait wants to slash the migrant proportion of its population from 70 to 30 per cent, state media said Wednesday, with the prime minister vowing to “resolve the demographic imbalance”.

Oil-rich Kuwait has a large foreign population mostly made up of Middle Eastern and Asian workers.

Out of 4.8 million inhabitants, some 3.3 million are foreign nationals, said Prime Minister Sabah Al Khaled Al Hamad Al Sabah.

“The ideal demographic situation would be that Kuwaitis make up 70 per cent of the population and non-Kuwaitis 30 per cent,” he told a gathering of local newspaper editors.

“So we face a big challenge in the future to rectify this demographic imbalance.”

Like its neighbours, Kuwait’s state budgets have been slammed by tumbling oil prices sparked by the novel coronavirus pandemic, pushing it to seek ways to provide more jobs to its own citizens.

State-owned Kuwait Airways said last week it would lay off 1,500 expatriate employees due to “significant difficulties” caused by the pandemic.