Kuwait’s Prime Minister, Shaikh Jabir al-Mubarak al-Sabah, has warned that the present “welfare state” in Kuwait is not sustainable and that economic conditions at home and abroad point to a need to transform Kuwaiti society from consumers to producers of wealth.

Concerned about his country’s economic situation in the years ahead, Shaikh Jabir is echoing recent calls by Finance Minister Shaikh Salim ‘Abd al-‘Aziz al-Sabah (MEES, 25 October), as well as the International Monetary Fund (IMF), to rein in rising government spending (MEES, 11 October), despite the fact that Kuwait has for the past decade or so projected budget deficits which have not materialized. Instead, the budget has ended with a sizeable surplus for the last 15 years, the National Bank of Kuwait recently said. (CONTINUED - 737 WORDS)