Several agreements signed on PM's Asian tour

Kuwait Times | August 17, 2008

KUNA, MANILA: His Highness the Prime Minister of Kuwait Sheikh Nasser Al-Mohammad Al-Sabah's eight-stop Asian tour will play a great role in boosting economic cooperation and increasing trade exchange and bilateral investments, said the Kuwaiti Finance Minister Mustafa Al-Shimali on Friday. He said that the talks in Brunei between the two country's senior officials touched on investment, primarily on cooperation between the Kuwait Investment Authority (KIA) and its counterpart in Brunei. He said that the Kuwaiti delegation was briefed on a number of future projects that Brunei intended to carry out, with the KIA's and Kuwaiti private sector's contributions to these also discussed.

Cooperation in the oil and gas sectors also featured in the talks, paving the way for discussions between Kuwait Petroleum Corporation and related authorities in Brunei to discuss investment opportunities in this vital sector, he added.

Al-Shimali further explained that Kuwait signed a number of agreements with Brunei on the sidelines of His Highness the Prime Minister's visit, regarding investment, economic cooperation, and political deliberations.

In Japan, the minister said, the talks with senior figures focused on boosting investments and the need for an agreement for the prevention of dual taxation as a platform from which to increase bilateral investments. Again, cooperation in the oil and gas sector was discussed, as well as guaranteeing an oil supply to Japan, he said.

His Highness the Prime Minister's visit to Japan was a success in the true meaning of the word, and resulted in signing cooperation agreements in the economic, investment and trade sectors," he stated.

He noted that the Japanese side was invited to participate in future projects in Kuwait, especially in light of the new laws issued by the Gulf state making it attractive for foreign investors.

As for South Korea, the minister said that increasing Kuwaiti investments there was a subject of discussion, and agreements for economic and investment cooperation were signed so as to provide a solid basis for achieving these goals.

Al-Shimali added that the Kuwaiti private sector played an important role in this stop on the tour, stemming from the government's desire to support Kuwaiti companies and open doors for them to engage in businesses abroad, adding that Kuwaiti businessmen met with their South Korean counterparts.

In Cambodia, Laos and Myanmar, His Highness the Prime Minister's visit was of great importance given the promising financial investment opportunities in those nations.

One of the main topics discussed was food imports from these countries as a means for securing food supply, facilitating a Kuwaiti energy supply to them, as well as cooperation in oil exploration and the agricultural field.

A Kuwaiti delegation will be visiting these three countries as of the 19th of this month to get better acquainted with their laws and regulations, and to explore opportunities for real estate, industrial and agricultural investments.

The delegation will group representatives from KIA, the Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development (KFAED) and the Kuwait Flour Mills and Bakery Co.

In Thailand, Al-Shimali explained, the two sides discussed means to increase economic and investment cooperation, and the Kuwaiti side was briefed on a number of projects that Thailand would be implementing in the future.

Thailand requested guaranteeing an oil supply and assistance in petroleum exploration, he said, adding that cooperation in the agricultural field and food security were also discussed.

As for the last leg of the tour, the Philippines, the minister said that bilateral relations, increasing Kuwaiti investments in the country, and signing an agreement for the prevention of dual taxation featured in talks.

Experts will be looking into this in the near future, he said, adding that investments in the real estate and agricultural fields were also discussed.

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