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Kuwait, India ties at its best, need to upgrade trade

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Economic forum proposed in Delhi

India’s Vice-President M. Venkaiah Naidu is presented a memento by the Ambassador of Kuwait to India Jassim Al-Najem

NEW DELHI, Nov 21, (KUNA): India’s Vice-President M. Venkaiah Naidu on Thursday hailed bilateral relations between Kuwait and India and conveyed his greetings to His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah and His Highness the Crown Prince Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah.

This came during a meeting between Indian vicepresident and Ambassador of Kuwait to India Jassim Al-Najem. In a statement to the Kuwait News Agency (KUNA) from the Kuwait Embassy in New Delhi, Ambassador Al-Najem said that the Indian vice-president conveyed his wishes for good health and wellness of His Highness and expressed that he is looking forward to the visit of His Highness the Amir to India.

A slated visit of the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad in this mid-October was postponed for emergency health reasons. The Indian vice-president added that Kuwait-India relations are at its best and he looks forward to further enhance and deepen the ties especially in the areas of trade and investment.

Naidu added that India imports about seven percent of its oil requirements from Kuwait and that there are opportunities to increase cooperation in the field of oil and petroleum products.

India is passing through a phase which is most suitable for increasing trade and investment exchanges especially in the backdrop of India’s transformation into a major industrialized nation, the Indian vice-president stated. Since the Indian government under Prime Minister Narendra Modi is relying on the Public Private Partnership to transform India into a global economy, it is the most opportune time to increase foreign investment.

The current government has also pledged several incentives to promote investments in addition to modernizing related laws and decreasing taxes, the president added.

On his part, the ambassador pointed out the keenness of the leadership in both the countries to enhance bilateral relations between Kuwait and India and to explore all the opportunities to promote them. He stressed that there are genuine opportunities for investment in Indian economy, especially in the areas of infrastructure, highways and power plants adding the Kuwait Investment Authority has already invested about five billion dollars in various sectors in India. Increased trade and investment between the two nations is inevitable since the current figures do not reflect the depth of historic relationship between the two friendly countries.

Al-Najem said that the Indian vice-president also put forward a proposal to host an economic forum in New Delhi to bring together private sector investors from Kuwait and India, officials from the chambers of commerce and industry in both the countries, in addition to the investment bodies of government sectors to discuss ways of increasing trade and discuss investment opportunities.

The forum can tap existing opportunities in both the countries apart from exploring possible investments in third countries. Visit of the then vice-president of Hamid Ansari to Kuwait in April 2009 had helped a lot to further intensify relations between the two countries.

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