COVID-19 Impact: Kuwait Is Replacing Expats With Nationals

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Kuwait’s Minister of State for Municipal Affairs, Walid Al Jasim, confirmed that the plan to replace expats with citizens, mainly in administrative jobs such as secretariat and registration in different municipal sectors, had already begun, and that he would not back down from moving forward with the policy of Kuwaitisation, stressing “persistence, determination, and not yielding to any pressure.”

Al Jasim was speaking after he issued a decision that represents a road map to suspending the appointment of expatriates, reducing their numbers, and striving to support and provide jobs to Kuwaiti nationals.

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Al Jasim added that the replacement of expatriates will be carried out according to several mechanisms, including ending the contracts of some workers and not renewing other job contracts, while reassessing the existing expatriate workers.

He pointed out that there is a plan to cancel the public registry sector and adopt electronic correspondence between all departments and sectors, which would reduce the numbers of expatriate employees significantly, as well as encouraging citizens to work in such jobs that do not need office attendance and can be done remotely.

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Asked about hiring foreign advisers, the minister said, “I have no foreign advisers, I have not appointed, nor will I resort to [appointing], foreign advisers.”

More than 1,000 expatriates are doing municipal jobs in Kuwait. The call to reduce the expat population has been strong since the beginning of the coronavirus outbreak in the country.

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