So today I saw an article that had a voice of reason in it. People are starting to wake up to how truly stupid some of these negative policies are - and by saying that, I mean stupid for Kuwait, its economy, its reputation and its people.
It will - and is - having a boomerang effect. Look at the real estate market: tanking. It seems like Kuwait is struggling with its identity (again?). On the one hand, there is a desire for inbound tourism and being an international financial hub. On the other, there is a very distinct desire to leave Kuwait for Kuwaitis. Both sides have a valid argument (one locked in the stone ages); but realistically, only one can win out (and I don't see how kicking expats out or making their lives harder will help the country).
Sidebar: I commented on Facebook (related to the Bidoon issue) recently and someone wrote back, "Don't be a hypocrite. I've seen your comments and how you talk bad about Kuwaitis." Completely irrelevant to the Bidoon issue, regardless, but I wanted to note that I love Kuwait and Kuwaiti people (for the most part). I love Americans and the American people (for the most part). I think there is good and bad in every society. What I comment on is politics and/or negative changes (again this is my perspective) taking place in Kuwait. I'm not here to trash anyone for being from a particular country, of a particular color or sexual orientation or religion or anything else. Please don't be offended/git yer panties in a bunch.
Ok, so on to the article. Kuwait has for YEARS been trying to obtain an international trade agreement with the US [Trade Agreement Act (TAA) compliance through World Trade Organization]. Kuwait Vision 2035 makes reference to steps on how Kuwait plans to accomplish this. (I don't believe that discriminatory practices against foreign workers in Kuwait is mentioned. You can check it for yourself.) "These objectives are sought to be attained by promoting open and liberal trade both of Kuwait and its trading partners, by following the principles and rules of the WTO and by entering into mutually advantageous arrangements directed to the elimination or substantial reduction of tariffs and other barriers to trade and to the elimination of discriminatory treatment in international trade relations."
Of note, if any Kuwait company offering products wants to get onto the US Government's procurement system (also known as the General Services Administration - GSA Schedule), they are SOL as Kuwait is not a TAA compliant country. Ooops. Why? Last I heard there was an issue of ensuring enforcement of licensing of software. I'm sure there are other issues. Info about Kuwait and WTO HERE.
So with all the yackety-yack about taxing foreign worker remittances from Kuwait (which sounded like a faaaaaabulous way for Kuwait to make some extra dinars); the International Monetary Fund has stepped in and said, "Yo, you guys aren't playing by the rules."
I am SURE that the story below will come as a huge blow to one particular xenophobic MP; a highly educated economist who (one would think) should know better about economics!
And this (finally) is what the article says: