His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, in the presence of His Highness the Crown Prince Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, received at Bayan Palace on 20 January the visiting President of the United Mexican States Enrique Pena Nieto and his accompanying delegation.
Following the reception the two sides held official round of talks with the Kuwaiti side represented by His Highness the Amir, His Highness the Crown Prince, His Highness the Prime Minister Sheikh Jaber Al-Mubarak Al-Hamad Al-Sabah, First Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Sheikh Sabah Al-Khaled Al-Hamad Al-Sabah, and other state officials.
The Mexican side was represented by President Nieto and several top ministers and officials including the Minister of Foreign Affairs Claudia Ruiz Massieu Salinas, Ambassador to Kuwait Miguel Angel Isidro, Minister of Energy Pedro Joaquin Coldwell, Minister of Economy Ildefonso Guajardo Villarreal, Minister of Communication and Transport Gerardo Ruiz Esparza, and Minister of Public Education Aurelio Nuno Mayer.
At the end of the bilateral talks the two sides signed several agreements and Memorandums of Understanding (MoU), including in foreign affairs, cultural and technical cooperation, as well as in aviation service and on promoting educational ties. The MoUs signed on the occasion were on energy cooperation, on developing tourism, on healthcare and to encourage direct investments.
During his visit, President Nieto and his delegation visited Kuwait Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI), where he was received by the chamber’s Chairman Ali Thunayan Al-Ghanim, Minister of Commerce and Industry Yousif Al-Ali and members of the chamber.
Speaking on the occasion, President Nieto praised the strong economic ties between Kuwait and Mexico, stressing the importance of boosting such relations to expand commercial exchange. He noted that since establishing diplomatic relations more than 40 years ago, the two countries have had a “close and fraternal relationship.” He added the purpose of his visit to the chamber was to share with them the vast investment potential that the Mexican market presented to Kuwaiti entrepreneurs, including in the fields of telecommunication and energy, especially in the hydrocarbon sector.
Pointing out that his country acts a bridge between North America and the Latin American region, the president added, “In the last three years, Mexico has set new standards to promote transformation of the country into an economically stable, free market with healthy public finances, autonomous monetary policies and a robust banking system. We have embarked on structural reforms that will allow Mexico to achieve greater development in different fields.”
Noting that both Mexico and Kuwait were oil exporters, President Neito pointed to an important difference, “Just 30 years ago, 80 percent of our exports were oil; today, the ratio of economic activity in Mexico has been reversed with 89 percent of our exports coming from manufacturing and high value-added products while oil accounts for only eight percent of our exports.”
For his part, KCCI Chairman Mr. Al-Ghanim noted the important role Mexico’s economy plays in joining the economies of the Pacific and the Atlantic Oceans, which was similar to the role of Kuwait’s economy in linking the economies of the Gulf region with those of the Arab World, Europe and Southeast Asia. He added that commercial exchanges between the two countries were still not at the level that nations aspired for, but he hoped the President’s visit would be starting point to boost bilateral commercial ties and achieve high levels of economic partnership.
A highlight of the President Nieto’s brief but busy visit to Kuwait was when His Highness the decorated the visiting President with the Mubarak Al-Kabeer Medal in appreciation of his role in boosting bilateral relations. President Nieto, on his part, awarded His Highness Sheikh Sabah with the Order of the Aztec Eagle medal.