The United States of America ranks second on the list of countries being considered by Kuwaitis as their preferred medical travel destinations, according to the US commercial attaché to Kuwait. Speaking at the press conference to announce that the “Discover America Festival” will be held from June 27 to July 1 at The Avenues mall, Dao M Le, Senior Commercial Officer of the US Embassy in Kuwait, said the United States has always been a favorite destination of Kuwaitis not only in the tourism sector, but also in the fields of education and healthcare. “The United States of America has the reputation of having the most technologically advanced and highest quality healthcare system of any developed nation in the world. We are the second most popular medical destination for Kuwaitis,” said Le, adding that patients traveling outside their home country for medical treatment often have the United States on the top of their list because of its cutting edge technology and life-saving protocols for some of the world’s rarest and most complex conditions. The degree of super-specialization among US physicians in unparalleled anywhere else in the world.
The US healthcare industry is one of the largest in the world and represents 16.2 percent of the US gross domestic product. Between the years 2009 and 2012, according to the US press statement distributed to the media during the conference, Kuwaiti citizens accounted for more than 13,000 inpatient and outpatient visits to major US academic medical centers. “55 percent of these visits were for diagnostic assessments in ambulatory settings, of which 23 percent included hospitalizations that were mostly elective encounters, 9 percent involved ambulatory surgery, and 7 percent were emergency department visits. In fact, last year we received at least 200 Kuwaiti patients in various hospitals across the US,” Le beamed. He noted that the US Embassy in Kuwait provided about 40,000 visas to Kuwaiti citizens and expats last year. The US Embassy in Kuwait organized the press-conference on Thursday morning to announce the upcoming ‘Discover America Festival,’ dubbing it as the biggest of its kind to be organized in Kuwait. “The five-day event will attract thousands of people from all walks of life in Kuwait. We are going to have visitors from various educational institutions, tourism attractions, and lots of surprises including raffle draws and music and entertainment,” Le added.
The event will be held at Phase II-Dome 3 of The Avenues mall. Special promotional offers and discounted products will be available at The Avenues during the five-day expo, especially from the American brands participating in the event. Bilateral trade The US-Kuwait trade exchange has swelled from $10.5 billion in 2011 to $15.7 billion in 2012, up 50 percent, said Dao M Le, according to KUNA. Le pointed out that the US exports to Kuwait in 2012 amounted to $2.7 billion compared with imports from Kuwait at the value of $13 billion. Vehicles have the lion share in the US exports to Kuwait, nearly 46.1 percent, followed by machines with 15.6 percent share. Then electricity and healthcare equipment with 5.6 percent and 4.5 percent shares respectively, Le said. He added that Kuwait now is the 54th largest US export market in the world, with 0.17 percent share of the total US exports and the 5th largest US export market in the Arab World. On the other hand, the US official said that Kuwait is the 29th biggest exporting country to the United States, with 0.52 percent of the total US imports.
Petroleum products make up 97.7 percent of Kuwait exports to the US, followed by fertilizers 2.1 percent. He touted the strong and special US-Kuwaiti ties as one of the best in the region. Le added that the US is looking forward toward more bilateral cooperation and partnership at all levels and in different domains. Signaling positive trends and developments in the bilateral economic relationship, the US official cited a surging demand from Kuwaitis for health care and tourism in the United States. The US Embassy in Kuwait processed nearly 40,000 visas in 2012, the largest volume ever in a decade, he said. He also revealed that the US City of Los Angeles has become one of the World’s top ten travel destinations for Kuwaiti tourists. Le shed lights on the remarkable growth in the number of student visas issued for Kuwaitis in the past years.
Source: Kuwait TImes