Kuwait defence minister says border towns 'focal task' for $86bn Silk City

Kuwait defence minister says border towns 'focal task' for $86bn Silk City
Sheikh Nasser Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah, Kuwait's First Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defence.
Published: 7 March 2019 - 5:45 a.m.
By: Oscar Rousseau

Constructing border towns to support the development of Kuwait's 250km² Silk City is a “focal task for the country's Supreme Council for Planning and Development, according to Sheikh Nasser Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah, First Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defence.

Speaking during a housing debate at Kuwait's National Assembly, Sheikh Nasser said the government had entered into talks with Iraq to explore the feasibility of building a free zone between the two countries as part of the $86.3bn (KWD26.1bn).

During the National Assembly's follow-up session, parliament ministers discussed the blueprint of Silk City, an integrated hub being developed in Subiya, northern Kuwait, state news agency, Kuna, reported.

The project will be built in a border region of the country near Iraq and Iran, and is expected to house up to 700,000 people upon completion in 25 years.

Direct road access to the country’s capital, Kuwait City, will be provided to Silk City through the under-construction Sheikh Jaber Causeway. In February 2019, the causeway was described by chairman of Kuwait’s Municipal Council, Osama Al-Otaibi, as one of the world’s “most gigantic high-speed bridges”, and an “almost complete” structure.

Silk City is the centrepiece of the New Kuwait 2035 diversification agenda, and the government expects investment of $400-650bn (KWD121-197bn) in the project over the next 25 years.

Chinese government entities have expressed interest in the Kuwaiti megaproject, as was evidenced by an official delegation's visit to Silk City in February 2019. Sheikh Nasser said Kuwaiti officials were in discussion with their Chinese counterparts regarding the management of Silk City's Mubarak Al-Kabeer Port.

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