By Andy Sambidge
Deputy prime minister says contracts inked for 'several vital projects' in Gulf state.
Kuwait has so far signed contracts worth more than KD2bn ($6.9bn) as part of the government's ambitious development plan for the country, a senior official has said.
Sheikh Ahmad Fahad Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah, deputy Prime Minister for Economic Affairs, Minister of State for Development Affairs and Minister of State for Housing Affairs, said the deals had been inked to implement "several vital projects" envisaged in the development plan.
The country’s $104bn plan aims to alter its infrastructure in sectors including education, housing, and healthcare.
"These projects are part of the country's quest for transformation into a leading international financial, commercial and service hub," Sheikh Ahamd said in comments published by KUNA News Agency.
His comments came after the signing ceremony of a contract between the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) and the developer of the first stage of the project to launch Kuwait Cargo City at Kuwait International Airport (KIA).
"The development projects focus on improving the infrastructure and the public utilities nationwide particularly the land, sea and air ports this year and the coming year," he said.
He added: "The government is set to sign this year a range of contracts in the areas of customs, taxes, e-communication and aviation; it attaches great importance to the launching of a third 4.6km long runway at KIA which will be able to accommodate giant aircraft."
He said that by the end of April 2011, more than 11 new hospitals will be built to add 4,000 beds to the bed capacity of the existing public hospitals.
Plans are also in the pipeline for the Sabah Al-Salem University, now under construction, which will go operational by 2014.
The Ministry of Education has also earmarked 105 schools for upgrading during the current fiscal year, Sheikh Ahmad said.
He added that the implementation of the development plan would be carried out "in a balanced way side by side with the government's efforts to overcome the impacts of the global financial crisis".