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Sunday , November 18 2018

AMIR INVITES MORE U.S. FIRMS TO JOIN IN DEVELOPMENT

Kuwait great partner in anti-terror fight

US President Donald Trump shakes hands as he meets with His Highness the Amir of Kuwait Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah in the Oval Office of the White House on Sept 5 in Washington. (AP)

WASHINGTON, Sept 5, (KUNA): His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah visited US President Donald Trump at the White House on Wednesday midday; he was accompanied by Chief of the National Guard Sheikh Mishaal Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah and other senior officials.

President Trump welcomed the Kuwaiti delegation and then accompanied His Highness the Amir to the Oval Office where they held official talks. Members of the delegation and senior officials from the US Administration joined the talks later on.

The discussions dealt with the deep-rooted ties between Kuwait and the United States and ways to enhance cooperation in such areas as defense, security, trade and investment as well as the strategic partnership in all fields. Both sides reviewed regional and international issues of common concern, with emphasis on the situations in the Arabian Gulf region and the Middle East.

They highlighted the need to promote peace, security and stability in the region and beyond, and support the international effort to combat terrorism. Trump on Wednesday described his country’s relations with Kuwait as very very powerful and His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah as a great friend. “Our relationship and our bilateral relationship is very very powerful, very strong,” President Trump in a reply to a question by KUNA during a joint news conference at the Oval Office with His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah.

He described His Highness the Amir as “a very special friend of mine” and expressed admiration of Kuwait and its people. “First of all I have a great personal relationship with His Highness the Amir,” the US President said. “Kuwait is a place I have known for a long time. I have many friends who live in Kuwait and in Washington and New York that I know and I’ve known for a long time. They are very fine people”.

Trump highlighted the great cooperation between the US and Kuwait in various domains. “We practice large-scale trade together, investment together, and also, very importantly, the fight against terrorism, and Kuwait has been a great partner”.

He affirmed that Kuwait “has made tremendous investments in the United States, and they’re buying a lot of equipment, military equipment”. “We appreciate the big purchases you’ve been making and frankly we’re working very hard to bring stability into the Middle East,” he remarked.

Following is the text of the speech delivered by His Highness the Amir: “Thank you, Your Excellency the President. I am glad to meet you for the third time in one year, which signals the special relationship and deep trust between the United States and us. “Thank you so much, Your Excellency the President, for the warm reception. This visit is a continuation of the strategic deep-rooted relationship between both countries that continues to strengthen steadily thanks to the shared keenness on boosting it.

“In this regard, I appreciate the US commitment to protecting the security and stability of the (Gulf) region, which was materialized in the US spearheading of the global coalition to liberate my country. “In the context of our quest for even closer ties with the United States, we will focus on expanding cooperation in such areas as trade, investment, defense, energy and education. It is my pleasure to invite the US companies and investors to take part in the development of infrastructure projects in Kuwait and take advantage of the new investment-friendly laws. “We are going to explore ways for solving the Gulf crisis in the hope of putting an early end to it. “Our meeting with His Excellency the President coincides with the resumption of the talks among the Yemen’s belligerent parties in Geneva under the leadership of the special envoy of the UN Secretary General for Yemen.

“We have been advocating these peace talks and hosted them in Kuwait with a view to putting an end to the destructive fighting which has destabilizing impacts on our security in the region. “We, as well as the whole world, hope that the intra-Yemeni peace talks will lead to the desired results. “We will review the achievement made under our firm partnership in the framework of the international coalition against terrorism. We will also discuss the latest developments of regional and international issues, foremost among which is the Palestine question.

“Let my appreciate the positive role and praiseworthy efforts being made by the United States to maintain security and stability in the region and beyond. “Thank you, Your Excellency the President.”

Projects
Earlier, His Highness the Amir invited Tuesday more US companies to participate in execution of development and infrastructure projects, which were part of his country’s development plan. His Highness the Amir, accompanied by deputy head of the National Guard Sheikh Mishal Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, said American companies have been contributing to boosting economic and trade relations with Kuwait.

His Highness the Amir was addressing a meeting with the executives of big US companies at his residence in Washington DC. He said Kuwait was keen on developing the strategic relationship with the American companies to a permanent patnership.

This partnership, he added, would provide more expertise and state-of-art technology to the oil sector, as well as expanding relevant investment. His Highness the Amir noted that Kuwait adopted a series of economic legislations aimed at developing the business environment and attract foreign direct investment. He said the Foreign Direct Promotion Law allowed foreign investors to have full owernship of their businesses in Kuwait. Leading American companies working through Kuwait Direct Investement Promotion Authority (KDIPA) contributed to success of sectors of information technology, communications, renewable energy and industries. “We hope this will pave way for more direct investment and long-term partnerships,” he said.

The American business community voiced Tuesday their honor to be meeting with His Highness the Amir of Kuwait Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, praising Kuwait’s 2035 vision and Kuwait’s openness for business. The US Chamber of Commerce Senior Vice President for Middle East and Turkey Affairs Khush Choksy told KUNA “we are very pleased to be able to put together a very high level of CEOs to meet His Highness the Amir.” He affirmed that American businesses “truly trust doing business with Kuwait,” a point that was resonated throughout the meeting. He added that the CEOs were also “very impressed by the high level of engagement,” and the forthrightness and openness that was demonstrated during the meeting. He shed light on the upcoming strategic dialogue in November in Kuwait, saying “we look forward to taking a very strong group of American business leaders to Kuwait because we believe that the commercial relationship is as equally important as the political and security relationship.”

For his part, Steve Lutes, Vice President of Middle East Affairs at the US Chamber of Commerce said that the US Chamber “is very honored to be participating in this meeting with His Highness the Amir,” and that this is “a key stone meeting that would highlight not only the importance of the economic relationship but also highlight the new sectors that we can be active in.” “We know there are long standing and important ties in strategic sectors but we look forward to establishing new partnerships in areas such as ecommerce, health and cyber-security,” he added. He affirmed that there is “a very active and robust trade and investment relationship between the two countries but we think that the relationship has incredible potential and that the future between the two countries is very promising when it comes to the economic relationship.” “We know that Kuwait is positioned very well not only as a market itself but as a hub for the greater region and as you look at opportunities like in Iraq and the reconstruction and rebuilding that is needed there, Kuwait is an important gateway to all of that,” he remarked.

Dr Thomas Kennedy, Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of Raytheon Company, praised the meeting, describing it as “excellent.” He affirmed that His Highness the Amir “was very clear” on making Kuwait an even better country to make business through further boosting the relationship with the American companies. “Kuwait is already a great country to do business with but some programs were outlined to make it even more attractive for investments by American companies,” he added. Co-Founder and Managing Director of Carlyle Group, David Rubenstein said “we had a very good meeting with the His Highness Amir,” noting that “everybody was very enthusiastic about the progress being made in Kuwait and the opportunities to do business there.”

David Seaton, Chairman and CEO of the Fluor Corporation noted that His Highness the Amir “is such a gracious leader and his vision for Kuwait is very clear and we are glad to be a participant in that.” Furthermore, Dr Rajeev Guatam, President and CEO of Honeywell Performance Materials and Technologies (PMT) affirmed that it was a “very important” meeting and that His Highness the Amir “has made Kuwait a really great place to do business in.” “We have been in Kuwait for the past 50 years and it continues to be a great place do to business for us and is very important for us,” he remarked. Group Chief Executive of BP, Bob Dudley said that during the meeting, the Kuwait 2035 vision was described “very well.” He indicated that Kuwait is the second largest shareholder of BP which reflects the trust shown and described the relationship as “great.” He added that the meeting was also an opportunity to hearing all about the other companies doing their activities in Kuwait, which was “an opportunity for me to learn a lot.”

Also, Keith Alexander, Founder and CEO IronNet Cybersecurity affirmed that “it is an incredible opportunity to work with Kuwait.” “Hearing His Highness the Amir talk about Kuwait and welcoming us to Kuwait was the highlight of the meeting from my perspective,” he remarked.

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