As one of the United States' top export markets in the Middle East and the 13th fastest growing source of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) into the U.S., Kuwait has been designated as a priority market to participate in the 2013 SelectUSA Investment Summit, which will be held in Washington DC, from October 31 to November 1, U.S. Embassy Senior Commercial Officer pointed out.
The SelectUSA Summit, hosted by the U.S. Department of Commerce and launched by an executive order in June 2011, is the first-of-its-kind Summit that will bring together leading public and private sector officials from around the world to discuss the benefits of investing in the United States.
The Summit builds on the White House's effort to help attract, retain and expand investment in the U.S. "We look at Kuwait as a strategic commercial partner," the U.S. diplomat Dao M. Le stressed in an exclusive interview with Kuwait News Agency (KUNA).
"The United States and Kuwait have a long and rich history of cross-border commerce, investment and trade. Therefore, the Summit is a great chance for Kuwaiti decision makers to network with U.S. economic development leaders at the federal, state, and city level and navigate the U.S. business climate. Kuwaiti companies that invest in the U.S. have access to an unparalleled global export platform, as the U.S. has free trade agreements in force with 20 countries, representing more than 700 million consumers," the diplomat said.
Le emphasized that the current level of Kuwaiti investment in the US is "significant". The total stock of Kuwaiti FDI in the US stood at USD 2.4 billion at the end of 2012 and Kuwait has been ranked the 5th largest US export market in the Middle East in the past six years; nonetheless, "the potential of bilateral trade and investment is far greater." he went on.
The diplomat added that the US Embassy has identified several Kuwaiti organizations - both government and private - as participants in the Summit and invitations have been sent out. The U.S. Embassy encouraged those businesses to invest in the worlds 1 economy, as ranked by 2013 A.T. Kearneys Foreign Direct Investment Confidence Index. "The dynamic U.S. market provides a workforce that is one of the best educated, most productive and most innovative in the global economy", he noted.
He added that investment in the U.S. are safeguarded by strong intellectual property right laws. He noted that even though the top sector for Kuwait's U.S. investment, from 2003 to 2013, is transportation with 57 percent of projects, Kuwaiti firms are highly competitive in other sectors such as warehousing with 15 percent, financial services and plastic with 14 percent each during the same period.
He said that these bilateral trade ties boost economic growth in both countries, which enables job growth and business expansion.
He drew attention to Kuwaiti firms that are interested in pursuing investment in the United States to contact the U.S. Embassy in Kuwait where it will help matchmaking U.S. businesses with Kuwaiti companies looking to source U.S. products and services. The embassy will also help in providing information and counseling to Kuwaiti companies seeking to invest in the United States.