- Raising education quality and developing vocational training programs are crucial to build human capacity and develop the knowledge economy in Kuwait.
- Implementing public-private partnership projects in the field of health care and providing high-level health facilities and services will contribute to elevating Kuwait’s competitiveness globally.
- Incubating entrepreneurship can be achieved through supporting SME and structuring flexible regulation.
Marmore MENA Intelligence, a subsidiary of Kuwait Financial Centre ‘Markaz’, recently released a report titled ‘Kuwait Key Partners – How to leverage more’. The report stated that innovation can arise in terms of understanding interactions among and between social, economic and environmental ecosystems in the these countries, unearthing knowledge and tools for informed decision making and social engagement in the process.
Marmore report covers the topical theme of how Kuwait can elevate its relationship to strategic levels with its major trade and investment partners in the areas of education, healthcare, research, innovation and policy making to improve the competitiveness of Kuwait economy. Kuwait’s greater and more meaningful engagement with its key trade and investment partners can not only substitute imports but also create avenues to develop and grow its non-oil exports, both of these are vital to solve key issues of job creation and economic diversification.
From the perspective of Kuwait, the objective is to transform the nation into an innovation and financial hub in the Middle Eastern region and beyond. In the process, Kuwait will have to combine being an attractive host for innovative R&D-oriented multinational companies, while also being a sought after incubation ecosystem for the best entrepreneurs in the world. This will form a crucial part of the economic diversification roadmap for the next phase of the development of Kuwaiti economy. Kuwait is committed to improving national competitiveness across multiple areas for which it could harness its relationship with various partners by drawing from their success stories in various fields. In this report we have covered some of the countries that are key trading partners to kuwait.
U.S: Silicon Valley in the US is known for its unique startup culture, which has given the world some of the largest technology companies. There have been many cases where federal and state governments update their regulations, following the success of a start-up product. Kuwait needs to develop a culture in which entrepreneurship is not stifled by outdated regulation. The key takeaway for Kuwait from the US experience is that a multi-faceted approach is needed to build the private sector and structure friendly regulations to incubate entreprenuership.
U.K: UK was the first country in the world to introduce PPP projects. Countries around the world work with UK organizations to develop their own models of PPP and deliver outstanding facilities and services. The nation is acknowledged the world-leader in execution of healthcare PPPs, the expertise for which could be harnessed by Kuwait, to provide outstanding healthcare facilities to its own populace and the wider region, which lags behind the rest of the world in this sphere..
Germany: Germany’s system of dual vocational training is an innovative arrangement that facilitates a continuous flow of high-skilled talent to industry. Apprenticeships are an essential and integral part of the German educational system, where about 60% of school leavers undertake an apprenticeship through the Dual Vocational Training System. Germany has invested well in education and human capital capacities, and pursued layered strategies for developing advanced export potential for its domestic industries. Kuwait’s key take away and future collaboration with Germany can lay emphasis on training and education, enabling development of the former’s knowledge economy potential more robustly.
France: France has followed a strategy that recognized and provided space for the involvement of private sector in research and development and the creation of knowledge economy. ANVAR, the flagship initiative of the French government currently supports more than 10,000 SMEs in the country. This has also led to the increased interaction among the public and private sector in France in the areas of scientific and technical research. Organizations such as ANVAR can provide collaborative support for SME development in Kuwait.
Japan: Japanese students consistently rank highly among OECD countries in terms of quality and performance in reading literacy, math, and sciences. Japan’s expertise in the area and its success in developing STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) education could be a model for Kuwait. Kuwait could formulate an education policy, along the lines of Japan, and involve ministries and organizations such as Ministry of Education and Kuwait Foundation for Advancement of Sciences (KFAS) in the process to collaborate with the respective Japanese agencies.
China: China’s economic success is largely due to reforms that created favorable incentives and unleashed productive forces. A favorable demographic structure and adequate labor supply also contributed, as did a high level of capital accumulation and the implementation of an export oriented economic strategy. Kuwait which is looking to diversify its economy could cooperate with China to understand its transition to a service economy. Kuwait can play an active role in the OBOR (One-belt one-road) project. Kuwait could also look at becoming a part of the land based Silk Road Economic Belt, which passes through Europe.
India: India has policies focused on each stage of education starting from primary to postdoctoral. The government of India has many programs being implemented, including education through ICT, vocational training, technical education etc. A large network of government-funded institutes, such as the Indian Institute of Technology (IITs), as well as opening the education sector to private educational institutions helped to develop engineering skills among the youth. India and Kuwait share a longstanding diplomatic and cultural relationship with Indian expatriate population being the highest in Kuwait. Kuwait can leverage the ties with India in formulation of policies and knowledge transfer for the implementation of various schemes related to skill development.
Covering these critical areas will mean that Kuwait and its major partners can give further impetus to their strategic relationship and strengthen bilateral economic arrangements by harnessing the synergies.
Regular exchange of high-level state visits over the years, has provided sustained momentum to bilateral cooperation between Kuwait and its trading partners. The wide-ranging and expanding dialogue framework should lead to broad-based endeavours covering not only trade and investment, but cooperation in other diverse areas that would prove beneficial for overall economic, social and cultural development.