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Deep-rooted Kuwaiti-Chinese ties raise trade exchange to US$12 billion
July 3, 2018, 2:37 pm
Chinese President Xi Jinping meeting with Kuwaiti Prime Minister Sheikh Jaber Al-Mubarak Al-Hamad Al-Sabah in Beijing, capital of China. (Xinhua photo)

Kuwait and China are witnessing deep-rooted and developed relations in all fields, mainly the economic sector, supported by the strategic visions of the two countries' leaders that pushed ties to new levels. Exchange trading volumes between the two countries rose from US$ 9.5 billion in 2016 to US$ 12.04 billion in 2017, thanks to the political will of the two leaders.

His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah's vision in 2006 aiming to transform Kuwait into an international commercial and financial hub and set up the Silk City opened new horizons to link eastern roads to the western ones so as to materialize the vision of Chinese President Xi Jinping on reviving the ancient Silk Road.

Reviving the Silk Road in the 21st century through a big series of ambitious development projects represents a change in international relations and cooperation among countries, as such projects aim to achieve common benefits of all nations and resolve issues and problems of most of developing countries as well as enhance regional peace and security.

This represents objectives of His Highness the Amir, a Humanitarian Leader, and Kuwait, a Humanitarian Center. Due to this, China ranked first as Kuwait's largest commercial partner over the last two years as a natural result of growing bilateral economic relations between the two sides after His Highness the Amir's visit to China in 2009 that aimed at promoting bilateral ties.

In 2014, His Highness the Prime Minister Sheikh Jaber Al-Mubarak Al-Hamad Al-Sabah also paid a visit to China where some cooperation agreements were signed, within the framework of boosting the bilateral ties. The visit also witnessed the signing of cooperation document so as to take part in the building of the Silk City and the new Silk Road. It is the first document signed in this field.

Moving ahead with means of developing and promoting ties with China, First Deputy Prime Minister and Defense Minister Sheikh Nasser Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah, when he was serving as Minister of Amiri Diwan Affairs, visited China in May 2017 to take part in the One Belt One Road summit.

In return, a number of Chinese delegations visited Kuwait's bodies. The visits resulted in a big and prominent participation of Chinese companies in carrying out projects in Kuwait. The projects carried out by the Chinese firms reached 84 with a cost of US$ 18.12 billion until the first half of 2017.

The top sectors in Kuwait witnessed development with China are oil and telecommunication. Sinopec company is the largest contractor in oil well digging in Kuwait and Huawei is the second foreign firm stablished in the country that has more than 50 percent market share.

The infrastructure comes third in the Kuwaiti-Chinese ties, as some Chinese firms are taking part in implementing some projects like the building of the Central Bank of Kuwait, the headquarters of National Bank of Kuwait and others. Kuwait is the first Arab and Gulf country, which has complete diplomatic relations with China that date back to 22 March, 1971. However, the Kuwaiti-Chinese ties have already started before the diplomatic ones, as the late Amir Sheikh Jaber Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, when he was serving as a finance Minister, visited China on 13 February , 1965, and met with senior Chinese officials, topped with the then President Liu Shaoqi.

After the liberation, Chinese firms contributed to rebuilding Kuwait and China's national oil corporate took part in putting out fire at oil wells, and could extinguish fire at ten oil wells.

Chinese officials expressed repeatedly their readiness to participate in executing a plan to develop the five islands, and there are ongoing visits and consultations between the two sides in this regard.

On monetary and investment sectors, there was great cooperation between the two countries over the last years. Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) opened a branch in Kuwait in 2016. Kuwait was the first Arab country, which invested in China's sovereign fund with US$ 10 billion.

Source: KUNA

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