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His Highness the Prime Minister Sheikh Jaber Al-Mubarak Al-Hamad Al-Sabah (center), and Chinese Premier Li Keqiang (left),
Kuwait, China ink deals

BEIJING, June 3, (KUNA): Chinese Prime Minister Li Kegiang received here on Tuesday visiting Kuwaiti Prime Minister His Highness Sheikh Jaber Al- Mubarak Al-Sabah and the delegation accompanying him. Upon arriving at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, His Highness the Kuwaiti Prime Minister and his host shook hands with a number of Chinese ministers and highranking officials.

After reviewing an honor guard and listening to the playing of both countries’ national anthems, Sheikh Jaber retired to the East Room of the Great Hall of the People where he held talks with his Chinese counterpart. The talks were cordial and dealt with boosting bilateral relations in various fields of common interest as well as with regional and international issues.

The State of Kuwait and the People’s Republic of China have signed 10 agreements and memos of understanding (MoUs) in several bilateral cooperative areas. The deals were inked in a ceremony here on Tuesday which was attended by His Highness the visiting Kuwaiti Prime Minister and his Chinese counterpart. Kuwait’s First Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Sheikh Sabah Khaled Al-Hamad Al-Sabah and Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi signed an agreement on mutual visa exemption for holders of diplomatic, service and special passports.

A MoU was inked by Kuwaiti Minister of Finance Anas Al-Saleh and Chinese National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) Chairman Xu Shaoshi on bilateral cooperation regarding the Silk Road Economic Belt and the Silk City. An educational loan deal was signed by Kuwait’s First Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Sheikh Sabah Khaled Al-Hamad Al-Sabah and Chinese Minister of Finance Lou Jiwei. Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Commerce and Industry and Acting Minister of Education and Higher Education Dr Abdulmohsen Al-Mudej and National Energy Administration Chairman Wu Xinxiong signed an oil cooperation deal.

Kuwaiti Minister of Finance Anas Al- Saleh and his Chinese counterpart Lou Jiwei concluded an infrastructure investment agreement. An air service deal was concluded by Kuwaiti and Chinese civil aviation authorities, together with a literary translation agreement. A MoU was inked by Kuwait Petroleum Corporation (KPC) CEO Nizar Al-Adsani and China Petrochemical Corporation (Sinopec) Chairman Fu Chengyu. Kuwait Investment Authority Director General Bader Al-Saad and China Africa Development Fund (CAD Fund) chairman Chi Jianxin signed a MoU in the field of cooperation in investment in Africa.

Finally, a bilateral communication agreement was signed between Kuwait’s leading telecommunications company, Zain, and China’s telecom solutions provider, Huawei. Al-Mudej has underlined that developing relations with a world major and leading economic power like China is necessary for Kuwait. “Kuwait is keen on upgrading relations with China and wooing Chinese companies to Kuwait to participate in the execution of projects of the state development plan,” Al-Mudej told KUNA Tuesday following the ceremony. Ameliorating level of trade exchange and economic relations are high on the agenda of His Highness the Prime Minister Sheikh Jaber Mubarak Al- Hamad Al-Sabah’s visit to China, said Deputy Chairman of the Kuwait Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) Abdulwahab Al-Wazzan. “His Highness the Prime Minister’s visit would be decisive and vital for encouraging trade, investment and industrial exchange between the two countries,” Al-Wazzan told KUNA Tuesday. Al-Wazzan, who heads KCCI’s delegation accompanying His Highness Sheikh Jaber, pointed out that Kuwait has decades-long special trade relations with China. “Kuwait was the first Gulf country to have trade relations with China in 1955 and diplomatic relations in 1971.” He stated that China is the largest trade partner to Kuwait. “The bilateral trade exchange between Kuwait and China hit over US$ 12 billion in 2013,” he told KUNA, adding that Kuwait is China’s seventh biggest oil exporter with exports of about 294,000 barrel per day.

Al-Wazzan unveiled that Kuwait seeks to implement energy projects in China such as the long-discussed petrochemical and oil refinery complex. “We hope the final arrangements for this project would be completed during the current visit of His Highness the Prime Minister to China,” he said. On Kuwait’s vision to bolster trade relations with China, Al-Wazzan hopes Kuwait will have a commercial port to be a gateway to China via Iraq and Iran which will help materialize His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al- Jaber Al-Sabah’s outlook of turning Kuwait into a regional financial and commercial hub. “Achieving this, would also revive the commercial Silk Road which would buttress Kuwait economic position,” he said. On the other hand, Al-Wazzan said that Kuwait encourages and welcomes Chinese companies, especially the construction ones, to contribute to the execution of Kuwait’s state development plan projects.

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