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‘Kuwait keen on supporting inter-Arab economic co-op’

 KUWAIT CITY, Dec 11, (KUNA): Minister of Commerce and Industry Anas Al-Saleh said here Wednesday that Kuwait was keen on supporting all efforts and initiatives aimed at promoting inter- Arab cooperation in various fields, particularly economic issues. In a speech on behalf of His Highness the Prime Minister Sheikh Jaber Mubarak Al-Hamad Al-Sabah at the opening of the Arab Investment Forum, Al-Saleh said that the issue of localization of Arab investments and attracting foreign investment from all over the world is not the liability of investment promotion authorities alone but it is the responsibility of all relevant actors. He added that Kuwait, out of its keenness on the importance of localization and attracting of Arab and foreign investments to the countries of the region, has supported many of the initiatives, projects and legislation that flow in the interest of achieving this goal. He pointed to a number of these initiatives, including the continued growth of the Kuwaiti investments in Arab countries, which enabled it (Kuwait) to occupy first place in the list of the Arab world’s largest exporter of inter-Arab investments, in addition to contributing to the establishment and hosting of several economic organizations. He added that Kuwait is aware of the benefits of foreign direct investment that go beyond the issue of funding to include the transfer of technology, innovation, management, modern marketing to achieve operation objectives and diversify sources of income and development. For his part, Director General of the Arab Fund for Economic and Social Development Abdullatif Al-Hamad stressed the importance of the forum to strengthening Arab cooperation in the fields of economy, investment and development, especially in the field of foreign direct investment.

He added the Arab economies have not succeeded in attracting important foreign investment, saying that their share of the total global flows have only increased about five percent during the last 10 years. He noted that all countries in the region were in dire need of foreign investment for attracting and localization of new technologies and integration into the global markets and face the many challenges. He explained that among these challenges are the provision of 50 million jobs over the next 20 years, facing weakness of natural resources, especially water, as well as oil and gas resources, expecting consumption of the region’s countries to increase to 60 percent in the coming years.

In turn, Director of the legal department in the Direct Investment Promotion Authority (DIPA) in Kuwait Barjas Al- Hajri said the forum aims to initiate a constructive dialogue between those responsible for the planning and development on the one hand and investment and promotion on the other hand, in order to enhance coordination and cooperation frameworks and improve the attractiveness of the region’s countries for investment. Al-Hajri pointed to the need to provide the objective conditions that “make our region more attractive for investment by promoting transparency in the procedures and the introduction of best practices in planning”. He explained that the DIPA would be at the head of the beneficiaries through its interaction with the actors involved in promoting this event. He pointed out that the DIPA was established recently in order to encourage direct investment, both domestic and foreign, and raise the level of competitiveness and business performance in Kuwait.

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