Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama has called on Kuwait's private sector to invest in different fields in his country, commending the State of Kuwait for its contribution to the development of Albania.
"We are ready to welcome private investment in Albania, how we can develop further this relation by supporting Kuwaiti investors to ivnest in Albania in several fields," said Rama who described relations with Kuwait as "special." In an interview with KUNA, Rama said he already started meetings with the private sector in Kuwait to explore how important entrepreneurs could start important business in Albania in different fields like real estate, agriculture, airlines, tourism and water.
Relations and cooperation between Kuwait and Albania are dated back to the early 1990s.
Rama noted that Albania was among the first countries to condemn the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait in August 1990.
Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development (KFAED) had since 1993 extended six loans worth some 21.5 million Kuwaiti Dinars (KD) (USD 72.9 million) for agricultural and transport projects in Albania.
Rama, accompanied by his Foreign and Economy Ministers, said he would be meeting with His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, His Highness the Prime Minister Sheikh Jaber Mubarak Al-Hamad Al-Sabah and KFAED officials.
The Albanian prime minister, also accompanied by four MPS, three mayors and a 16-member business delegation, said KFAED has played an important role in the difficult transition period in Albania.
Kuwait and Albania had signed several agreements aimed at promoting and protecting investment, economic, technical, legal and judicial cooperation as well.
An economic forum sponsored by Kuwait Chamber of Commerce and Industry will be held on the occasion of Rama's visit to focus on trade and investment chances that lead to increasing trade exchange between the two countries.
Rama was the mayor of Tirana, the capital of Albania. While a mayor, Rama proposed granting an honorary citizenship to His Highness the Amir. "His Highness the Amir is an honorary citizen of our capital city since 13 years. I proposed it and the city council approved it with a full majority," he said.
"We have a special relation" with Kuwait "where I felt being welcomed as a real friend," noted Rama and cited Albanian Post Office's issuance of a special stamp bearing the image of His Highness the Amir in appreciation of his role in cementing bilateral ties.
Rama also noted the UN honoring of His Highness the Amir as a "Humanitarian Leader" because of his "role and his leadership" in humanitarian work, as well as naming Kuwait as a "Humanitarian Center." As for Albania's relations with the European Union, Rama said the EU has already granted Tirana a candidate status, which means that Albania needed to carry out wide-scale reforms to meet with EU standards.
"We have a very generous help from your (Kuwaiti) government, five million euros in our disposal to enhancing the reform process to help us address rightly key priorities," said Rama.
Rama meanwhile said his recent visit to Belgrade, the first by a senior Albanian official in 68 years, would play an important role in improving relations between the two countries.
"We are more convinced that our integration path is linked to our relations in the region. Relation between Serbia and Albania is very important towards closer ties with the EU," he said.